Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > STEROIDS: YOU’RE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR HEALTH
October 23, 2014

THE surge of steroid use by young people in Cork has led a well-known personal trainer to warn they are playing Russian Roulette with their health. Compelling anecdotal evidence of a rise in steroid use in Cork has emerged in recent years as both young men and women vie for attention on social media networks and while out socialising. Steroid use has long been seen as the preserve of the professional bodybuilding circuit, where competitors wish to add muscle mass to their frames in order to compete on stage. However, steroid use has now emerged as a way for young men and women to beef up their frames to look more muscular while out socialising, as well as gaining more followers on social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook. Health professionals and those in the fitness industry have warned that a huge level of preparation needs to go into “steroid cycling”, including post-cycle treatment, to minimise long-term damage and problems such as liver toxicity, acne, baldness and male breast enlargement. But it is believed dealers are attempting to sell the illegal substances in nightclubs and gyms in Cork and have been asked to leave the premises when their activities are found out. One of the best-known personal trainers in Ireland, Tony Martin of Iron Mecca Gym in Blackpool, said the instant gratification and internet era combined to compel young people to search for the easy solution. Mr Martin said: “My belief is that bodybuilding is a lifetime pursuit, and first and foremost, I would never ever advise anyone to take steroids under any circumstances.” Mr Martin, who previously owned the famed Fit-On-Street and BodyForm gyms in the city centre, said: “Information is now just a Google search away, and the mysteries of previously whispered changing room talk of steroids is now open and common place. “The bottom line is that steroids work for what users intend. But when users stop taking them, they stop working. Getting the body’s normal metabolic system back on an all-square system is Russian Roulette. “Young people are attracted to steroids because of quick gains and gym anecdotes. But young people are not thinking of the long-term implications and think they are bullet-proof.” Mr Martin said there was also a risk from buying supplies from dealers and the internet. “Because most steroids are available so easily, most avail of what will not be available from a doctor or pharmacist via prescription. Generically branded steroids have a whole host of risks associated because of a lack of production control. You simply don’t know what you’re really getting from the internet or a dealer.” Mr Martin said that if users found themselves suffering from health problems they suspected may be connected to steroid use, they should inform their doctor immediately. “Do not seek advice from the big guy in the gym or from the internet — tell your doctor. No doctor will condone usage but will be there to help and look out for your health.” http://www.eveningecho.ie/2014/10/18/youre-playing-russian-roulette-health-2/