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Steroids Abuse by Athletes and Varsity Players

Anabolic steroids were first developed in 1930s basically to treat diseases related to puberty, particularly problems in the male reproductive organ or infertility. Because of the late discovery on its anabolic and androgenic effect, today it has been used to build up muscles in bodybuilders, weightlifters, and athletes and is highly detectable through steroid tests. Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances related to male sex hormone called testosterone. Steroid testing shows that athletes who have been known to use steroids for a long time are linked to steroids abuse. Although these drugs may need prescription, they are often sold at schools especially during competitions or smuggled from one country to another and are abused in three different ways such as cycling, stacking and pyramid.

What are Steroids?

Steroids are basically synthetic derivative of the male hormone testosterone. They build up muscle and enhance energy and endurance as they retain the protein in the body. Protein is necessary to create a bulking growth for the muscles and develop bones and skin. They also generate a deep voice, and increase hair growth and aggressiveness. However, even though they are best known to create bulking muscles, steroids do not enhance agility, athletic skills, and cardiovascular capacity. When steroids are also combined with some other drugs like stimulants, pain killers, and other anti-inflammatory can worsen the adverse effect of steroids which is why they should only be taken in an adequate level.

Why are Steroids Abused by Athletes?

There are only two main reasons why athletes and varsity abuse steroids, that is to improve their performance and enhance their muscle. According to research steroids basically boost up energy levels to endure sports like football, swimming, running, and cycling. In records steroids abuse among athletes and varsity players accounts to only six percent; however, as time goes by the availability and popularity of steroid benefits to muscle-building have made steroid abuse increasing.

In some cases, abusing steroid to increase the muscle size is also associated with dysmorphia. This is a condition wherein a person suffers from body distortion. This kind of disorder affects both men and women. In this case, they may look big and strong but this mainly is because of the excess body fat stored in the body. People under such condition basically think that they are weak and unhealthy that is why they drink steroids to increase and stiffen their muscles as well as eliminate the excess fat.

On the other hand, women who abuse steroids even though they are not involved in any athletic activities are found to exhibit toughness and strength. In a survey by National Institute in Drug Abuse, this usually happens to women who have previous experience in sexual abuse. The study states that women believed that their sturdy physique would scare men away.

How are Steroids Abused?

Steroids can either be taken orally or injected. Normally, doctors would prescribe only 1 to 5 mg a day, but abusers may take beyond the prescribed levels. This manner has pose significance to administer steroids test which is why steroids testing is conducted at random manner especially at schools to assess and confirm steroid abuse. There are three main ways in which abusers use steroids. These are the following:

Cycling - this process involves taking multiple doses of steroids for several weeks or months and then suddenly stops. After a short while, the person starts taking steroids again.

Stacking - this process involves combining several types of steroids and taking them at once. Often times, they combine oral steroids and injectables.

Pyramid - This process involves taking steroid lightly during the first few weeks but after a short while, the person gradually aggravates the dosage. Upon reaching the peak amount of steroids level in the body, the person stops taking steroids and continue athletic activities without using them anymore.

While athletes and varsity players are mostly consists of youth, steroids test can also be administered at home through the steroids abuse test kit. Based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the new federal cut-off level of steroid is 2 ng/ml. By using a urine sample, the steroids abuse test kit would test for steroid metabolites like testosterone and epitesterone.

Indications of Steroid Abuse

There are many ways to tell if someone by is abusing steroids. The following symptoms indicate steroid abuse. However, it should be noted that not all people who experience the same condition as follows are abusing steroids.

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Muscle development
  • Growth of acne on the face
  • Fluid retention
  • Obvious psychological effects like mood swings and depression
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Balding even at young age

Commonly Abused Steroids

The following are the most common abused steroids.

Oral Steroids

Oral steroids are only intended for short time usage because of its anabolic characteristic. These are basically taken to relieve back pains especially for athletes who have been into strenuous training and rigid competition. The steroid abuse testing kit will help detect the presence of this type of steroid in the person's body. The following are the most commonly abused type of oral steroids.

Anadrol - Anadrol is basically a trade name for oxymetholone which is a derivative of DHT and has long existed in the 1960s to treat anemia. However, this type of steroid is known to be the most potent and toxic of all steroids. For this reason, even though it may be bought in as low as two bucks per 5 mg pill in order to build up stiff and big muscles, its adverse effects has been it one of the highly discouraged steroids. Noted to have a half-life that last up to 8 hours, it is found to activate androgen receptors and are metabolized in the body, particularly to 17-alpha-methyl DHT (17AMDHT) which makes it convertible to estrogenic metabolite. And because of its C-17 alkylation content, it was found out to cause liver damage even though it is proven effective to raise the level of red blood cells in the body. Aside from this, anadrol also brings out bloating effect to an addicted person known as gynecomastia. This is the result of imbalance in the sex hormones or a type of metabolic effect wherein males abnormally develop bulging and large mammary glands exhibiting the breasts of a female.

Oxandrin - Oxandrin is basically prescribed at 8 mg a day to promote muscle regrowth for disorders and diseases that cause involuntary weight loss like HIV as well as prevent osteoporosis. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it is also used as a medical treatment to alcoholic hepatitis and Turner Syndrome. However, this steroid is commonly abused by bodybuilders for its capacity to stiffen and shape up muscles and relieve join pains. In any case though, it should be noted that Oxandrin is a synthetic steroid derived from dihydrotestosterone which if abused for a long period of time can bring out severe disadvantage to an addicted person. Liver problems are only few of the many fatal cases Oxandrin may bring. This basically can start from several unnoticeable symptoms which patients may thought are normal like allergic reactions, swelling of the arms, frequent erections, hoarseness of voice, and enlargement of breasts.

Dianabol - Dianabol is basically the brand name for Methandrostenolone steroid which has already existed in the markets across United States starting 1959 and has been used by athletes to enhance strength and performance, the main reason why it has been created by Bosley Zeigler for the American athletes under the influence of Russian athletes. Athletes basically take this type of steroid three to four days at 5-40 mg per day before a competition or a game to boost up stamina and endurance. However, most athletes who continue to take such exhibits gain weight of 2 to 4 pounds per week within the first six weeks of steroid treatment. And because of its very strong and fast effect, athletes may immediately notice its "mass impact" to the body. The side effects of dianabol are the same with the previous oral steroids; however, the side effects may be treated through ancillary treatment which then includes Arimidex, Aromasin and Letrozole.

Winstrol - Winstrol is the brand name for stanozolol which is basically for intramuscular used and are approved by FDA. This type of steroids although entails a high suspension and bioavailability due to the presence of C17 a-alkylation exist as tablets and are considered to be safe for women body builders. Aside from its anabolic effect to the body, they are also known to cure anemia and hereditary angioedema.

Injectable Steroids

Injectable steroids are known to have lesser side effects than the oral steroids as they do not contain C17 a-alkylation. This is the main factor that basically leads to liver problems. The following are some examples of the most commonly abused injectable steroids which are still detectable through steroids abuse test kits.

Deca-Durabolin / Durabolin - Deca-Durabolin and Durabolin are the brand names for Nandrolone, a 19-nortestosterone which is commonly prescribed by doctors to treat osteoporosis in women as part of pos-menopausal symptoms upon receiving FDA approval in 1983. This type of injectables; however, are abused by athletes and varsity players to increase muscle growth and bone density. It is also known to stimulate appetite and increase red blood cells. Longer abuse of Deca-Durabolin though can lead to various negative effects like gynaecomastia and reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular damage, and decrease of luteinizing hormone which is one of the primary hormones that stimulates normal ovulation and supports fertility in women.

Depo - Testosterone - Depo- Testosterone is the brand name for testosterone Cypionate. This type of injectables basically exist in two levels of strength, 100 mg/mL and 200 mg/mL, and are basically bought and taken by athletes and varsity players to increase muscle growth. It also brings up further effects to the body especially to the male reproductive organ. Aside that it is known to increase growth on some of its parts like the penis, seminal vesicles, and scrotum it is also responsible for the maturation of the prostate. On the other hand, it develops male characteristics when taken by female. This may include the growth of hairs in many parts of the body like mustache and beard on the face, hair on the chest, and longer pubic in the armpit and reproductive organ.

Equipoise - Equipoise is the trade name for boldenone undecylenate. Although it is not advisable for human consumption and are only available in veterinary clinics, especially in the United States, this type of injectable steroids are still abuse by athletes. People who are involved in sports like baseball, martial arts, football, soccer, and horse racing are found to be the most prone in Equipoise abuse. It basically increase protein synthesis that is why it enhances the growth of body muscles and improves body endurance as well as stimulate the appetite.

Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) - Commonly known as The Clear, Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG is a type of steroid that had only been recently placed into scheduling as of 2005 and is noted unapproved by FDA. It basically binds with the androgen receptor instead of estrogen which makes it effective in increasing endurance for athletes. According to history, this was the secret of winning for the gold medalist Marion Jones, a sprinter athlete. However, longer association with this type of steroid can lead to infertility in both male and female. Using the steroids abuse test kit, a person may be held liable for a positive THG steroid test.

Resources

http://dwb.unl.edu/teacher/nsf/c10/c10links/www.tcada.state.tx.us/research/facts/steroids.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxandrin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrogestrinone
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