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The Use Of Anabolic Steroids Essay

1366 words - 5 pages

The Use of Anabolic Steroids

During the past decade, anabolic steroid abuse became a national

concern. These drugs are used illicitly by weight lifters, body builders, long

distance runners, cyclists, and others who claim that these drugs give them a

competitive advantage and/or improve their physical appearance. Overall

youth steroid use remains alarmingly high. According to the 1999 Monitoring

the Future Study, the percentage of eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders who

reported using steroids at least once in their lives has increased steadily over

the past four years (an average of 1.8 percent in 1996, 2.1 percent in 1997,

2.3 percent in 1998, and 2.8 percent in 1999).

Concerns over a growing illicit market and prevalence of abuse

combined with the possibility of harmful longterm effects of steroid use led

Congress in 1991 to place anabolic steroids into Schedule III of the

Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA defines anabolic steroids as any

drug or hormonal substance chemically and pharmacologically related to

testosterone (other than estrogens, progestins, and corticosteroids) that

promotes muscle growth. Most illicit anabolic steroids are sold at gyms,

competitions, and through mail operations. For the most part, these

substances are smuggled into this country. Those commonly encountered on

the illicit market include: boldenone (Equipoise), ethlestrenol (Maxibolin),

fluxoymesterone (Halotestin), methandriol, methandrostenolone (Dianabol),

methyltestosterone, nandrolone (Durabolin, DecaDurabolin), oxandrolone

(Anavar), oxymetholone (Anadrol), stanozolol (Winstrol), testosterone, and

trenbolone (Finajet). In addition, a number of counterfeit products are sold as

anabolic steroids. Physical side effects include elevated blood pressure and

cholesterol levels, severe acne, premature balding, reduced sexual function,

and testicular atrophy. In males, abnormal breast development

(gynecomastia) can occur. In females, anabolic steroids have a masculinizing

effect, resulting in more body hair, a deeper voice, smaller breasts, and fewer

menstrual cycles. Several of these effects are irreversible. In adolescents,

abuse of these agents may prematurely stop the lengthening of bones,

resulting in stunted growth.

Steroids (Anabolic-Androgenic)
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are man-made substances related to male

sex hormones. "Anabolic" refers to muscle-building, and "androgenic" refers

to increased masculine characteristics. "Steroids" refers to the class of drugs.

These drugs are available legally only by prescription, to treat conditions that

occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such

as delayed puberty and some types of impotence, and also to treat body

wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases. Abuse of anabolic steroids

can lead to serious...

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