In 2005, the United States Congress famously conducted hearings and established an investigative committee to probe the use of steroids within Major League Baseball. The hearings included eye-opening testimony from several stars and former stare of baseball, including names such as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Jose Canseco. Along with the testimony from the baseball players and league executives, the committee also asked several medical experts and parents of children who committed suicide after using steroids. It became clear that a larger motivation was at play for these hearings early on. The main motivation for the public spectacle that became of this investigation – the rising use of steroids among the nation’s children and young adults.
It is more important than ever before to educate children and young adults of the dangers of using performance enhancing steroids. Due to the growing public view of male and female body image, the competitiveness in sporting events, and the want of immediate results, steroid use in children and young adults can be more real than ever before.
What are Steroids?
Though everyone’s body produces different hormones (females), testosterone (males), and steroids differently, there are two steroids produce in every human body naturally, without the use of outside drugs:
These steroids that occur naturally in the body is the body responding to stress. Cortisol is a catabolic steroid that breaks down large chemicals in the body, to smaller, more manageable ones. Cortisol is produces from the adrenal gland and is a huge part of the body’s metabolism and immune system. Without cortisol, a person’s body would be unable to break down glucose, protein, fat, or carbohydrates and would not be able to fight infections including the common cold.
These steroids are also manufactured in prescription drugs – like hydrocortisone – to help with illnesses such as asthma, inflammation of the joints or arthritis, allergic reactions, and COPD. Catabolic steroids – though not as misused as anabolic steroids – can cause some side effects. Prednisone, for example – used to reduce swelling and prevent infection – can cause mood changes, weight gain, change in appetite, and water retention.
Anabolic steroids produce the opposite effect as catabolic steroids in the body. Anabolic steroids are used for muscle gain, which is why it is such a popular performance enhancing drug. Anabolic steroids are similar to the male production of testosterone in the body, and a female who takes steroids may notice a deepening of voice, body hair, and an increased libido (sex drive).
Due to the anabolic steroids mimic of testosterone, there are medically prescribed dosages of the steroid for babies with bad testosterone production naturally in the body. There are also some doctors who believe in steroid replacement therapy in the elderly when natural testosterone production has ceased.
Signs, Symptoms & Dangers of Steroid Abuse
There are a host of different physical and emotional dangers of using steroids illegally that differ between men and women. For men, physical symptoms include:
- Breast Development (gynecomastia)
- Painful ercetions
- Shrinking of testicals
- Decrease in sperm count/loss of function of testicles
For females, most side effects from taking anabolic steroids are irreversible, even when the use of the steroids stops:
- Growth of facial and body hair
- Deepened voice
- Breast reduction
- Enlarged clitoris
- Menstrual irregularities
Both males and females who take steroids for performance enhancement are at risk of:
- Fluid (water) retention
- Stunted growth
- Increase in bad/Decrease in good cholesterol
- Mood swings
- Increased hostility (a debated symptom that has not been confirmed or denied)
- Increased aggressive behavior (also a debated symptom that has not been confirmed or denied.
What Should I Do About It?
If you or a loved one are abusing steroids, get help for your addiction immediately. As previously stated, a lot of the effects of steroids – for women – can’t be reversed once observed. It is important for you or your loved one to get help immediately in order to control these symptoms.
Get help immediately, before it’s too late. If you, or if you suspect a loved one, have an addiction to steroids, or have used steroids in order to enhance your physical body or performance, contact Serenity Acres today to receive help for your addiction. We have a variety of different treatment programs that can help you or your loved one quit using steroids and live a healthier life.