Anabolic Steroids: Abuse, Effects and Prevention

Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that relate to the male hormone testosterone. It helps in the development of skeletal muscles and acquiring male sexual characteristics both for males and females. Anabolic steroids or anabolic-androgenic steroids were first made in the early 1930s to treat a condition termed as hypogonadism in which the male testes do not produce enough hormone for proper growth and development and for sexual functioning.

steroidsLike a lot of substances that help in the body’s growth and development, anabolic steroids are frequently abused by people who want to improve athletic performance, increase muscle size and reduce body fat. It has been significantly noted that most athletes tend to use anabolic steroids to enhance their performance which makes for worldwide abuse of the substance. This is why screening and testing measures are strictly implemented especially at Olympic games to level off the field during competitions.

There are a lot of consequences related to anabolic steroids abuse. For one, using it disrupts the normal production of hormones by the body which can result to long-term irreversible changes especially on men. Another effect is the increase in cardiovascular diseases, the most common being heart attacks and strokes that happen to athletes as young as under the age of 30. This is because steroids can cause blood clots in blood vessels which prevent blood from reaching the heart muscles which can result to fatal conditions.

So what can be done to prevent the abuse of anabolic steroids? Research has shown that it isn’t enough to educate students about the adverse effects of anabolic steroids. Implementing strict guidelines on the use of steroids also doesn’t do much good especially for the adolescents in sports. Presenting both sides — the risks and advantages — of steroids use has been noted to be more efficient in controlling the youth from using the synthetic substance as they find it more convincing presenting a balance of information regarding the matter.

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