Athletes use steroids to enhance muscle mass and strength, increase the duration and intensity of their workouts, and shorten the recovery period after exertion. Now doctors are concerned about the spread of these substances among young people, who are not so much looking for sports records as for the improvement of body shape and appearance. Despite the positive impact of steroids, their side effects are serious and dangerous. The use of steroids, even in therapeutic doses, can lead to serious health problems.
Most scientists support the view that athletes should avoid taking artificial hormones. The effects of steroid use on mood can range from a sense of pleasure to depression or signs of aggression. Acne and swelling of the skin are critical symptoms on the epidermis. Individuals who use steroids often have significant abnormalities in liver function, which can lead to liver tumors. There is also an increase in blood pressure and thickening of the aortic wall, resulting in heart diseases (National Institute on Drug Abuse). The latter includes an increased risk of coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, and myocardial infarction. A large number of side effects testify to the danger of these substances.
Now, however, some still believe that doctors and scientists exaggerate the dangers of steroids. It seems to them that the very problem of the effects of these substances on human health is magnified. Such people appeal to the fact that the history of steroid use goes back more than half a century (Abad-Santos). Thus, if the effects of artificial hormones were as detrimental as the doctors describe, an epidemic of athlete deaths would now befall countries. There is even an opinion that steroids naturally improve general body functions, such as immune system function and digestion (Preiato). Moreover, some experts believe that all of the negative effects of steroids described are just cases of steroid overdose. They are also convinced that the studies do not take into account other risk factors, including obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.
All of the arguments made by those people who support steroid use are easily refuted. The longevity of steroids is not proof of their safety. It is true that these drugs are not lethal, but in the long run they destroy the human body. At the end of the twentieth century, scientists came to the conclusion that prolonged use of anabolic steroids poses a serious threat to health. The existing skepticism of some athletes and scientists is not justified – ongoing studies have proven the devastating effects of taking these substances.
The development of hypertension and liver deterioration are only some of the symptoms that athletes taking steroids may experience. These substances have a negative effect on the heart, blood vessels, sexual organs, and men’s psyche (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Athletes should not even start taking steroids, hoping that their health will recover later. Stopping anabolic drugs improves testosterone-producing cells but does not lead to full healing (The Endocrine Society). Men who have taken such drugs have a high probability of permanent infertility and the development of other long-term problems with genital function.
No sporting achievement is worth the loss of health and, subsequently, the extremely expensive treatment. Moreover, the arguments of those who disagree with this viewpoint can easily be refuted by the results of existing scientific research. The abuse of steroids, even in a conditionally therapeutic amount, inevitably leads to a deterioration of health, and therefore athletes should not be allowed to use them.
Abad-Santos, Alex. “The Open Secret to Looking Like a Superhero.” Vox, 2021.
Preiato, Daniel. “Are Steroids Bad for You? Uses, Side Effects, and Dangers.” Healthline, 2019.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What Are the Side Effects of Anabolic Steroid Misuse?” NIDA, 2021.
The Endocrine Society. “Steroid Abuse by Men Leads to Long-Lasting Impaired Testicular Function.” ScienceDaily, 2019.