5 Dangerous Secrets About Anabolic Steroids
by Dawn Weatherwax RD, CSSD, LD, ATC, CSCS
The dangers of steroid use go far beyond the physical effects. I’ve uncovered the following list of secrets through anecdotal research about anabolic steroids. Please share them with your team.
Secret #1 – Steroids Mess With Your Mind
Steroids change the way you behave... the way your mind works. The psychological impact of steroid use can be catastrophic. Suicidal thoughts, depression, paranoia, road rage, mood swings, hallucinations, and panic attacks are just a few of the "joyful" things that you may add to your life with steroids.
Secret #2 – Steroids Steal the Joy of Victory
Most athletes keep their steroid use a secret. Secrets have a way of eating away at you from the inside. Secrets tend to come back to you at the worst times. When your teammates are celebrating a hard won victory, your little secret will jump to the forefront of your mind. You will know that your performance really wasn't you. Your conscience will remind you that you cheated and that you are not worthy of being celebrated.
Secret #3 - It’s a Chemical – NOT Nutrition
There is a big difference between what you eat for performance (sports nutrition) and taking steroids. It is a chemical. It is not natural. You don’t really know how your body will respond (either good or bad). It is a HUGE risk. Don't take it.
Secret #4 - A Life of Dependence – Steroid Addiction?
Once you have used steroids to achieve a certain level of performance, why would you knowingly lower that level of performance? The answer is that you won't. Which means that you will keep taking the steroids even after the competition is over. Are steroids addictive? I don’t know the scientific answer to that, but I can tell you that it is very difficult to let go of the performance aspects that steroids deliver. Athletes can clearly become dependent on them.
Approximately 1.9% of young adults (ages 19–28) surveyed in 2005 reported lifetime use of steroids, while 4.0% of high school students, grades 9-12, also reported long-term use. However, this number is down from 6.1% of high school students in 2003.
Secret #5 – Everybody is Doing It - NOT TRUE!
Just because you hear a lot of press about athletes shooting up steroids, that doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it. Secrets have a way of exposing themselves and when that day comes, you don't want to find out that you were the one doing steroids when most were not.
Results from the 2006 Monitoring the Future Study, which surveys students in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades, show that 1.6% of eighth graders, 1.8% of tenth graders, and 2.7% of twelfth graders reported using steroids at least once in their lifetimes.
Bonus Secret – Leaders Set the Example
Every member of a team sets an example for the rest of the team. If you take steroids, then you will encourage members of your team to do the same. What if your teammate experiences suicidal thoughts after you introduced him/her to steroids? What if he or she acts on those thoughts? Who is responsible for the outcome? Leaders set examples. Why not talk to your teammates about steroid use. Warn them. Protect them Show them a different path. Be the leader and lead by example.
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