Anabolic steroids have been in the spotlight in the world of professional sports since many athletes have been discovered using drugs to enhance their performance. But what often slides under the radar is the increased use of steroids by adolescents looking to improve their physical appearance and abilities. While most adult athletes are aware of the risks of steroid use, it’s important to stress the dangers to young adults who may be unaware of the potential harm they can do to their bodies by using steroids. Below is some information to help you educate your child on the risks of steroid use.
- Risks for men: The risks of steroid use for men and women differ. Males who take steroids have been known to develop breasts, infertility and impotence. An increased risk of baldness and shrunken testicles is also common for males who take steroids.
- Risks for women: For women who take steroids, it is common to develop a deeper voice and increased body hair. Infrequent or absent periods are also a risk of steroid use.
- Risks for both genders: Some of the risks that may affect both men and women include increased acne, increased risk of tendinitis, liver abnormalities, high blood pressure, increased “bad” cholesterol and decreased “good” cholesterol.
- Emotional risks: The use of anabolic steroids has been known to make users aggressive and combative. Often those using steroids will develop psychiatric disorders, such as depression.
- High risk of addiction: Because most athletes like the improved performance and increased muscle size caused by steroid use, it is often difficult to stop taking the drugs. However, it’s important to remember that the use of anabolic steroids is illegal and banned in all organized sports. For athletes caught taking steroids, the punishment may involve suspension from their sport and could even result in jail time.
While many young adults and professional athletes feel the need to use anabolic steroids in an effort to improve their performance, it’s important to keep in mind the unavoidable risks involved. Steroids may help improve an athlete’s game temporarily, but the long-term effects of steroid use do more harm than good.