Everybody would agree thatÂ anabolic steroidsÂ are not for everyone. In fact, the primary use of this substance is for medical treatment of some health conditions. Through the years, steroids became popular among bodybuilders and professional athletes because of its performance enhancing effects.Â BodybuildersÂ use steroids to bulk up or build more lean muscles quickly. It can also improve strength and stamina which then help bodybuilders endure more complicated routines. Professional athletes have similar reasons why theyÂ use anabolic steroidsÂ even if these drugs are prohibited by major sports organization around the world.
Right now,Â steroid usersÂ are not only limited to those people who engage in sports but studies showed that users have been spreading in all demographics. And guess what, the number of younger users is increasing and individuals who are just trying to build a better physique shares a big chunk in the statistics. Health experts are concerned on this scenario because these users are more prone to abuse. They are also the usual victims of distributors of black market steroids.
Millions of Teenagers could be on Steroids
According to anti-steroid crusaderÂ Dick Butkus, the number of teenagers who are involved in steroids is estimated at half million. Most of them received or purchased steroids from the internet, trainers and coaches. The lack of proper education of these teens will put them at danger especially if they are under misguided trainers and coaches. The school has a very significant role in preventing these teens fromÂ taking steroidsÂ or by experimenting with these drugs since 85% of these students still needs information about steroids.
Butkus is a former linebacker for the Chicago Bears and a Hall of Famer. He initiated the "I Play Clean" Campaign to help young athletes stay away from anabolic steroids. He is optimistic that through his program, the sports will be cleaned of performance enhancing drugs. "I would like to see every athlete and former athlete take the Play Clean pledge. Every coach talk to their players about Playing Clean. Every trainer advocate Playing Clean. Every health or PE teacher include lessonsÂ about steroids," he said. But steroid education should not end in the junior level. If universities and professional leagues and athletes will help, the problem of steroid use will be eradicated.
Young Users Disregard the Risks
Taking anabolic steroids usually lead to complications if not taken with proper guidance from health experts. Prescription of this drug to teenagers should only be done when there is a need for it. If it is used just to build muscles or to improve image, they will likely experienceÂ side effects.
Butkus said that these youngsters don't know about "roid rage", stunted growth, man boobs, small testicles, joint injuries and liver problems. Women can experience deeper voice and masculinity. He warned that emotional problems can last up to 18 months after their lastÂ dose of steroids.
A bodybuilder interviewed by Mathew Kelly of NewCastle Herald shared how the effects of steroids affected his body. Darren Sweeney who is working as a security guard wanted to haveÂ leaner musclesÂ so he decided toÂ use steroidsÂ for 4 months. However, the improvement in his body was also accompanied by constant muscle pain in the forearms and he became more aggressive. He also believes that steroid use is common in teenagers. "I've seen kids as young as 15 [who are using steroids]. Basically they are just wanting to look good in front of their mates and girls," Sweeney said.
Anabolic steroidsÂ can be easily bought according to the bodybuilder who opted to use herbal supplements. There is no problem searching for steroid products if you know the right people. "For something likeÂ Sustanon 250, I've heard you can pay between $180 to $200 for a 10 millilitre ampoule. The real worry is these kids don't know what they are doing to themselves," he added.