Elishia Thompson: Should Steroids Be Legalized?

1424 words - 6 pages

85% of teen athletes are not educated on the side effects of steroids. This means many of them can fall into average use due to being only told the positive effects, yet no matter its pros and cons anabolic steroid use is illegal. “The possession or sale of anabolic steroids without a valid prescription is illegal” (Drug Enforcement Administration). The greatest consequence possible is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sport type organizations and committees such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the NCAA, MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL have taken precautions to rid themselves and their members of anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are not and should not be legalized. Many people get confused between the usages of steroids that are legal, primarily use for medical conditions and steroids used to increase muscle mass therefore the term steroids must be elaborated. Before the answer of if steroids should be legalized can be explained, it should be known exactly which steroids are causing controversy.
Certain steroids are useful and sometimes help patients with problems such as asthma. Those sorts of steroids are considered to be an anti-inflammatory type medication. Therefore in order to focus the subject, illegal steroids or steroids to enhance athletic performance will be referred as anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances associated to the male sex hormones. They stimulate the growth of skeletal muscle and the advancement of male type characteristics in both males and in females. “During the 1930s, scientists discovered that anabolic steroids could facilitate the growth of skeletal muscle in laboratory animals”(NIDA 1). This discovery later led to steroid abuse by body-builders, weightlifters, and athletes in a variety sports. “Steroid abuse has become so widespread in athletics that it can affect the outcome of sports contests” (NIDA 2). Anabolic steroids can be sold at local gyms and through mail order procedures after being trafficked into the U.S. Many other countries don’t uphold the same steroid policies as America therefore it takes little effort to produce and ship without penalty. This process makes receiving anabolic steroids that much easier.
“Among athletes, steroid abuse has been estimated to be less than 6 percent according to surveys, but anecdotal information suggest more widespread abuse”(NIDA 2) Even with precautions of steroid use in Olympic and professional athletes new drugs are continuously being created to escape detection. Some anabolic steroids are taken orally, others are injected intramuscularly, and still others are provided in gels or creams that are applied to the skin. Abusers may take doses up to 100 times the amount that legally prescribed patients take. Steroids are abused in patterns such as Cycling, pyramiding, and stacking. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period and starting again. Pyramiding is a process...

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