Steroids in professional sports has been plastered all over the media recently, especially in baseball with Jose Canseco's accusations, the Barry Bonds controversy, and the A-Rod list. But how much do you actually know or understand about steroids, other than that they give you a competitive edge? For example, did you know that steroids are prescribed every day by physicians for therapeutic use? The Taylor Hooton Foundation has reported that 84% of high school students have never had a coach, parent, or teacher talk with them about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) wants to help educate students, parents, and coaches about steroid abuse. Check out the following list to see how many of points you already know! If you have questions about any of the others, don't hesitate to ask Sarah Watson, Canton High School's athletic trainer!
1. Anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs are not regulated or quality-controlled and provide danger from a health and eligibility standpoint.
2. Steroids do not replace proper nutrition. Without the right balance of nutrient-rich foods, your body cannot be fueled at its best. Talk to your ahtletic trainer, school nurse, health teacher, or doctor for more information.
3. Taking steroids can have physical and emotional consequences and can be life threatening. You can suffer from short and long term health issues.
Steroid use can lead to a shortened life. The cardiovascular system comes under heavy attack from steroids. Good cholesterol levels go down, bad cholesterol levels go up, increased water and salt retention can result in high blood pressure. All of this leads to increased chances of strokes and heart attacks.
Other physical dangers include: hypertension, liver cysts and/or cancer, increased chance of injury to tendons, ligaments and muscle, jaundice, trembling, aching joints, and bad breath.
Behavior can be affected. Effects include mood swings, aggression, severe depression, paranoia, extreme irritability, delusions, impaired judgement, and a sense of invincibility. Many of these feelings are even worse when a user stops using these drugs. Some of these feelings can last for a year after you stop using steroids.
4. A male using steroids has additional risks and is prone to sexual problems including impotence. The user can develop male breasts (gynecomastia) and experience testicular atrophy. Additionally, they are at risk of prostate growth and cancer.
5. A female using steroids has additional risks and is prone to development of facial hair, male pattern baldness, loss of menstrual cycle, reduction in the size of her breasts, inflammation of sexual body parts and deepened voice. There is even a potential for birth defects when she has children.
6. Possession of anabolic steroids without a legitimate prescription is illegal, and all preformance enhancing drugs are banned in high school, college, and professional sports. Use of these substances can result in loss of eligibility and potential legal consequences.
7. How we think about our bodies is vitally important. Having a good body image is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and a sense of self. If you're taking care of the outside, but not the inside (through proper exercise and diet), you're putting yourself at risk of injury, fatigue, and compromised performance.
The Taylor Hooton Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people and their adult influencers about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. The organization was formed in memory of Taylor Hooton, a young man who died after using anabolic steroids. He was a pitcher on his high school baseball team.