Anabolic Steroids and the High School Athlete Essay

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Anabolic Steroids and the High School Athlete

Anabolic steroid abuse has become a national concern among high school athletes. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of athletes using these performance enhancing drugs in high school almost double the number using since the 1980's. These athletes feel that steroids gives them the competitive edge that they think they need to boost themselves past the competition.

Steroids have been used in bodybuilding and other sports since the 1950's. Nowadays, athletes from all walks of life use them. It's not uncommon for athletes such as bodybuilders, football players, boxers, sprinters, and especially powerlifters to use them on a year round basis. Some professional bodybuilders admit to using over 10 times the normal effective dosage for testosterone. Steroids and sports go hand in hand in many ways. They were legal until 1990 when they joined other banned substances such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines as being illegal. Many athletes including Arnold Schwarzenegger and football great Lyle Alzado have admitted to using them to help them become better athletes. Because they are illegal without a prescription in almost every country in the world they are only available to the recreational user on the "black market". The black market consists of all steroidal substances, counterfeits, and other illegal drugs that are purchased from a source other than directly from a pharmacy or a physician. As everyone knows, when a product is available only on the black market the demand of it goes up while the supply goes down. This means that a very high percentage of all athletes that use them are doing so illegally. This is a major reason why steroids have become so popular among high school athletes, there so easy to obtain.

Once viewed as a problem only associated with professional athletes, recent reports estimate that 5 to 12 percent of male high school students and 1 percent of female students have used anabolic steroids by the time they were seniors. The athletes using these drugs don?t belong to one particular sport, these users play sports ranging from girls tennis all the way to boys swimming all of which have the same goal in common, to gain the upper hand. They are usually used during training to build muscles and contrary to popular belief are not usually used when the athlete is competing...

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...An ongoing series of studies has shown that this team-centered approach reduces new steroid abuse by 50 percent. A program designed for adolescent girls on sports teams, patterned after the program designed for boys, is currently being tested. Some medications that have been used for treating steroid withdrawal, restore the hormonal system after its disruption by steroid abuse. Other medications target specific withdrawal symptoms, for example, antidepressants to treat depression, and analgesics for head aches and muscle and joint pains ( May pg 65).

Some patients require assistance beyond simple treatment of withdrawal symptoms and are treated with behavioral therapies.

Compared to student athletes who were not exposed to the program, ATLAS participants had increased understanding of the effects of steroids, greater belief in personal vulnerability to the consequences of steroid use, improved drug-refusal skills, less belief in steroid-promoting media messages, increased belief in the team as an information source, improved perception of athletic abilities and strength training self-efficacy, improved nutrition and exercise behaviors and reduced intentions to use steroids.

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