The United States of America is a place where young people are deeply concern about their appearance and sport results. That is why the country faced such problem like steroid abuse among teenagers. This paper shows the situation of teen steroid abuse in the country. It indicates the reasons why steroids are so popular among the young generation. It clearly highlights the reasons of using steroids in males and females. It tells about the impact of steroids on the young human organism and side effects that can be accompanied under the constant consumption of steroids in young age.
Keywords: steroids, young organism, side effects, sport achievements, muscle mass.
Teen Steroid Abuse
The use of steroids among teenagers became a problem in the United States of America. Many adolescents who want to build muscles or reach some results in sports prefer steroids as an extra measure. The memorable picture of the desirable body on the TV screens or magazine covers encourage teenagers use steroids in order to create the body of the perfect form. It is very often accompanied with the desire of teens to achieve a great performance in sport activity. However, it is very difficult to achieve those results without hard work and long period of time. Thus, teenagers become to abuse steroids because it will bring the positive result with less difficulty and in a short period of time. Despite the fact that steroids could have the negative effect on the young organism, the desires are so strong that the number of adolescents who abuse steroids is becoming bigger and bigger.
Steroids are substances the effect of which is aimed at strengthening the anabolic processes in the body. In other words, they accelerate the formation and updating of structural parts of the cell, tissue and muscle structures in the human organism. For the first time, steroids were developed and used in 1930 in order to assist in some cases of lack of testosterone for normal growth and development. Since that time, steroids are abused not only among adults, but also among teenagers. They are used to increase growth and build muscles. Steroids are related to the male hormone testosterone and increase the stability of bone injury. All anabolic steroids available in the United States by prescription issued and used to treat diseases in which the body produces insufficient amounts of testosterone, for example, delayed puberty and some types of impotence. Some people buy legalized dietary supplements, which also include certain steroid hormones. People use them to build muscle mass. It was not proved that this effect is observed, to use these drugs in therapeutic doses. However, if people use them in large quantities, they can cause the same side effects as anabolic steroids.
When people intend to use steroids without medical indications, they are usually used for better sport results or building mass, as well as reduce body fat. It is important to emphasize that steroid allow athletes in different sports activity make it much quickly than under the effect of regular trainings. Many athletes believe that some of their achievements were accomplished only due to the use of steroids. However, there was not proved that steroids increase muscle mass in athletes during training. The gain of muscles may well be caused by purely psychological effect. After Sixteen experiments with steroids nine showed its effectiveness as a means of building mass, the other seven did not yield any results. At the same time, anabolic steroids are widely used as means for increasing muscle mass after some surgical operations and treatment of cancer during which the patient experiences a loss of muscle mass. Originally, only in some sports athletes became to abuse steroids to improve the quality of training. Over time, the abuse of steroids has spread to other sports. Unfortunately, it became very popular among teenagers who use these substances without thinking about negative consequences for their health.
Recently, a growing number of young people became to use steroids without taking any exercises or sport activity. Many of them are sure that steroids may help them to improve not only the shape of their body, but also improve their health. Some of them consider that the improvement of physical performance is an indicator of improving their health. Steroids can help to gain muscle mass with reinforced training. However, there is no evidence that large doses of steroids that are used by young people without training may help to build muscle. Overweight people are not involved in sports, are at risk of high blood pressure and other heart problems. However, there is no evidence that increased exercise, with or without steroids, prolongs life or reduces the risk of disease. There is evidence that excessive amounts of steroids may prematurely stop the growth of the body, cause heart attacks, various diseases of the liver, atrophy of male reproductive organs, and many other effects.
Some teens are abusing steroids along with other drugs. These medications are taken to increase the visible indicators of physical development. In order to achieve it, it is necessary to use a dose of 10 or even 100 times above that which is indicated for medical reasons (Quenqua, 2012, p. 42). Most teenagers can simultaneously use more than one anabolic, or gradually increase the dosage. The dose increase occurs within a few weeks or months. The young athletes combine the different drugs and drug schemes depending on the products and their diet. All information about the consumption of steroids is primarily transmitted from athlete to athlete. The doses which are consumed by the current young generation are much higher than the doses athletes of past years. There is no formal research, and nobody knows exactly how properly apply steroids. Steroids are mainly purchased illegally from the uncertain sources. It leads to the numerous forgeries and use of veterinary steroids. These preparations have been developed for animals, and there are no any studies that would check their effect on the human being in order to indicate the proper dose and possible side effects. After the official manufacturers have removed it from the market, it continues to be sold illegally. Those steroids that teens buy at the black market could not be of proper quality. As with any medication, the higher dose means that it is more likely the occurrence of side effects. This is also true for steroids.
The steroid abuse is indicated not only among boys, but also among girls. An increasing number of American girls use steroids for bodybuilding. In most cases, they do not think about sport achievements. They just want to look like as a “sculptural” models and movie stars. Girls illegally take out dangerous testosterone pills, injections and creams that cause scandals in the sports world. As a result, those girls very often suffer from various eating disorders. There was a study that was conducted by Lloyd Johnson and colleagues from the University of Michigan in the annual government study on risk-taking behavior among young people. Scientists were surprised when it turned out that 5% of high school girls and 7% of girls of middle school recognized about the use of anabolic steroids at least once in a life. Since 1991, the abuse of steroids among girls continues to grow (Lloyd, 2011, p. 42).
The use of steroids leads to improved athletic performance in the majority of girls, and perhaps the consumption of steroids contributes to the increase of the girl participation in sports. However, the decent majority of girls just want a slightly athletic look. For young women, it is rather a way to control weight and reduce body fat. A new study found that many school girls, who took steroids, did not intend to be engaged with sport activity. “More than one-fifth of girls said they had used protein shakes or powders to gain muscle mass, while between five and ten percent used non-steroid substances to bulk up” (Pittman, 2012, p. 1). In addition, these girls are often used other methods for extreme weight loss. They often met eating disorders and were also abused of laxatives, diuretics and amphetamines. The side effects of steroids for young girls may include severe acne, small breasts, low voice, menstrual irregularities, excessive hair growth on the face and body, depression, paranoia and bouts of aggression. Steroids can also have more serious consequences: heart attacks, strokes and certain types of cancer. Usually girls buy steroids from friends, in local gyms or from the Internet. In some cases, steroids are bought by parents or coaches of child athletes.
In the United States of America two-thirds people, who use steroids began to consume them at age of 16 years or younger. Among one million Americans who use steroids, three-quarters attend high school. Many of them are the athletes in American gyms. The younger the person the greater risk of side effects from steroids. Steroids can make the impact on growth during puberty. The consumption of steroids in athletic doses during puberty makes the bones become fixed without further growth. External influence on the natural production of steroid fixes the adult growth. There are many ways of how steroids can make its negative effect on different organs in young organism. In large doses, steroids make the influence on the body as well as other substances of this class. The discontinuation of the consumption of similar substances causes a temporary disruption of the bowel, accompanied by pain in the stomach, nausea, and vomiting. There is no clear evidence that steroids have the same side effects. However, if the athlete experiences similar symptoms, he definitely has to visit a doctor for medical examination.
Steroids cause the appearance of acne. Anabolic steroids stimulate the production of fat skin. These fats are a perfect breeding ground for a number of bacteria. If these conditions develop an infection, it could follow a protective reaction of the body. The end results are usually numerous small scars from acne. In 21-year-old athlete who uses steroids can be developed acne after 4 weeks of taking steroids (Quenqua, 2012, p. 56). For a young person who uses steroids medications for acne can be toxic even in normal doses. If the liver is engaged in processing of anabolic steroids, it is not able to process the normal degree of medication taken from acne. That is why medication accumulates in the body and can cause the toxic effects. Eventually, it can damage not only the skin, but also the liver of the young organism. The toxic effects of anabolic steroids on the kidney are not known. However, some it was showed that long-term use of anabolic steroids, their number drops with the release of urine.
Steroids do not make any effects on the development of the brain tissue in contrast to such drug as alcohol. However, it is possible that steroids can cause mood swings from euphoria to depression. They can also cause the increase in violence and feeling of guilt. In this way, steroids can have a negative effect on the nervous system. High doses of anabolic steroids cause a reduction in blood levels and lowering the immune system. The consumption of steroids can lead to an increase of heart size. Cardiac muscle is changed in the same way as chronic heart diseases. Therefore, among the young athletes often occur so-called sudden deaths. Finally, steroids make the negative effect on the general growth of young athletes and can even cause the serious dependence.
The abuse of steroids among teenagers can cause the high level of sport achievements as well as a high rate of health problems among them. Steroids have both physiological and psychological effects. Abusing steroids is more prone to mood swings from euphoria to violence and suicidal tendencies than its peers. Some experts consider that feeling of euphoria force teenagers to train harder and more often than their colleagues. It is believed that it is the main cause of gaining muscle mass by teenagers who use steroids. The current young generation wants to shape the perfect bodies in order to look like TV screen actors without making too many efforts. That is why young people abuse steroids and do not want to pay a serious attention to the side effects that steroids can cause in their young organisms.