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Anabolic steroids have recently become a serious problem because of the excessive overuse and/or abuse of the illicit drugs. The problem began mostly with professional athletes, such as weight lifters, body builders, and long distance runners. Although there are many dangers associated with the use of the drugs, they can have great effects on the athletes’ performances in competitions. Anabolic steroid use can, in fact, increase muscle strength and endurance, which gives the user advantages over the nonuser. However, today, the use of these drugs have gone far beyond being a drug just for the professionals. Nonprofessional athletes, including high school athletes, commonly use anabolic steroids to enhance their abilities. In fact, studies have shown that a significant percentage of both male and female high school students have used anabolic steroids. The alarming rate at which these potentially dangerous drugs are being used has even led to national concern. As a result, Congress has placed the drugs into the Schedule III group of controlled substances. However, this has not significantly reduced the use of the drugs. In fact, almost anyone has easy access to the illicit drugs, which are commonly sold at gyms and at competitions. The dangers of these drugs greatly override the benefits, but even still, the rate of use of anabolic steroids continually increases.
Anabolic steroids were originally developed in the 1930’s for the treatment of certain medical conditions. The drugs are sometimes prescribed to treat certain types of anemia, breast cancer, and severe burns. They are also used to raise testosterone levels in individuals with hormone deficiencies. Under the supervision of the prescribing physician, individuals using anabolic steroids for conventional reasons should have few, if any, side-effects. Furthermore, if the steroids are used in a responsible manner, along with a high-protein diet and regular exercise, they can actually benefit muscular strength and endurance with no serious side-effects.
However, despite the beneficial aspects of anabolic steroids, there are many serious problems that can occur with overuse and abuse of the drugs. For instance, a male individual who uses steroids inadvertently, may be afflicted with many unwanted side-effects. These drugs cause testosterone levels to rise, therefore, estrogen level rise also. In turn, the male steroid user could
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