Young people ask: What should I know about steroids?

Are you dissatisfied with your appearance?

Boys often would like to have muscles like famous bodybuilders, and girls would like a top model figure. Some have engaged in sport and they want to be stronger and faster.

If you also have similar dreams, you may be wondering whether or not to start using some special means. Some tout different pills and fluids to help athletes achieve better results quickly. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians in the US, “about one million adolescents aged 12 to 17 have taken dangerous dietary supplements and drugs that increase the body’s performance.”

The most popular doping agents are steroids (anabolic steroids). What are these substances? Why do people use them? And how to resist this temptation?

Support of nature

As the publication of the US Department of Health and Human Services explains, “Anabolic steroids are a widely used name for synthetic substances related to male sex hormones (androgens). They support the growth of skeletal muscles (anabolic effect) and development of sexual characteristics in men “. At the time of puberty, a precisely programmed increase in androgen levels in the body causes changes that result in the boy becoming a man (Psalm 139: 15, 16).

Synthetic steroids were first made in the 1930s to be given to men whose bodies did not produce these hormones in sufficient quantity. Today, they are used as a drug to counteract the destruction of the body by AIDS and other diseases. However, steroids have also gained support among people without health problems. In the fifties, they began to be available on the black market, and ambitious athletes considered them ideal doping measures.

But not only athletes reach for steroids. According to research published in the Pediatrics medical journal in the US, it is accepted by almost 3 percent of boys and girls aged 9 to 13 years. Dr. Nora D. Volkow, head of the US National Institute for Drug Abuse, said at a meeting of a Congressional committee that in 2004, “some 79,000 high school students of senior high school [admitted] (…) to use anabolic steroids in the previous year year”. Similarly in Great Britain. According to the New Statesman magazine, “in 2003 in Merseyside and Cheshire the largest group of new participants in the needle exchange program were people using steroids. For the first time there were more than heroin addicts. “*

What do steroids tempt?

Why are more and more people abusing steroids? Among other things, because successful athletes can become famous and very rich. And steroids seem to be shortcuts for this purpose. A well-known coach summarized the attitude of the majority of athletes: “Perhaps victory is not everything” – but only it counts “. The previously mentioned Nora Volkow noted: “Today, the society is dominated by a very destructive view that bigger is better, and the most important thing is to be at the top, no matter how.”

These sad conclusions seem to be confirmed by a survey conducted by Bob Goldman, specialist in the field of sports medicine. He asked young athletes if they would accept any of the doping measures, if they knew they would not be caught, they would win all the competition in the next five years and then die as a result of side effects. Over half of the respondents answered in the affirmative.

Even if you are not determined to strive for success at all costs, using steroids may seem like a good solution. Why? According to Nora Volkow, “people reach for steroids, because in many respects they improve the body’s fitness and appearance.” And in many cultures, the appearance is considered the most important thing today. Harrisson Pope, professor of psychiatry at the Harvard University Medical School, said: “Millions of men struggle with shame, embarrassment and insecurity because they attach too much importance to physical appearance.” Thanks to steroids, young people have the chance to hide their uncertainty under fashionable musculature.

For similar reasons, girls also tempt the steroids. Professor Charles Yesalis of the Pennsylvania State University, a specialist in health and human development, said that “in the nineties, the number of women abusing steroids has grown significantly, and now there are more than ever before.” Some teenagers practicing sports take steroids to become stronger and faster. However, most girls apparently hope that thanks to these measures will resemble slim, athletic models or movie stars. According to Jeff Hoerger from the University of Rutgers in New Jersey, “young women consider it rather a way to control weight and get rid of unnecessary fat.”