The use of anabolic steroids is rampant and widespread today. It was confined once to a limited elite group of highly competitive athletes. Their use has infiltrated into teenagers who use them as a strength statement and to impress others.
Many athletes experiment with them believing these steroids don’t cause any immediate serious side effects. Doctors have come to a consensus that these anabolic steroids can cause seriously debilitating psychological and physical damage because of which these anabolic substances got classified into Schedule lll drugs.
India, for one, has no imposed governmental check on their over-the-counter sale.
The decision one makes will require an athlete to weigh the benefits and the drawbacks of anabolic steroid use. The benefits like an increase in muscle strength and size is incomparable with the possibility of suffering from side effects like roid rage, gynaecomastia, liver tumors, etc. The muscular gains made during this period of anabolic steroid use is not a permanent one, it withers away once the steroid use is discontinued.
This is one of the reason many gym trainers look ‘buffed up’ or look like sculpted Greek gods.These anabolic steroids have both anabolic and androgenic properties. The anabolic properties lies in the building of tissues and the androgenic characteristics are male pattern balding, hirsutism, developing a baritone voice, testicular atrophy, cessation of menstrual cycles, etc.
Due to the toxicity the liver faces in processing them, the use of anabolic steroids has to be pyramided, but unfortunately the levels of the catabolic agents are dictated by the inherent wisdom of the human body to maintain a homoeostasis, therein lies the whole problem. During the tapering phase of the drug use, the cortisol levels do not reduce which creates an imbalance.
The psychological side effects are psychotic symptoms, roid rage or mania, withdrawal symptoms or depression, paranoia, hallucinations and a total mental imbalance. The physical side effects have been linked to development of liver cancers, jaundice, malfunctioning of the liver which invites a host of metabolic problems, testicular atrophy, azoospermia, lactation in men and losing breast tissue in women, water retention which can cause high blood pressure and edema, heart disease, etc. The strength imbalances that develop between the muscles and the connective tissue can injure an athlete and can even put an end to his/her athletic career permanently. The cons outweigh the pros of steroid use.