Are We Living In a Steroid Epidemic?

Athletes in any competitive sport will always be eager to use any possible advantage they can get their hands on – most often in the form of steroids. While the drive to win can be rather fierce and it’s true that steroid usage can get you to the top faster than anything else, performance-enhancing drugs can also have fatal side effects, including heart problems, liver abnormalities and tumors, drug dependence, impotence and infertility.

Steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone and are mainly used to increase muscle, decrease fat and enhance athletic performance. They also help athletes recover from a strenuous workout more quickly. But they work so well that their usage is considered to create an unfair advantage for those who take them, so most sport organizations condemn and punish performance-enhancing drugs. Yet, there are those who claim that steroid use is a justifiable way to achieve certain bodybuilding goals.

Either way, this trend is becoming increasingly popular among the amateurs as well. Many bodybuilders who want to step up their game decide to take steroids, although obtaining them can be rather difficult – in the US, steroids are illegal without having a prescription, so users have to either find local dealers or sneak their way into a testosterone replacement therapy program. Of course, no one talks openly about this and the use and misuse of steroids remains a taboo subject in the fitness society.

In Australia, steroids have become the drug of choice for many young people and the number of national steroid seizures and arrests has risen to record highs in the last few years, while a large part of the steroids are being made locally. As it turns out, it’s ridiculously easy for Australians to legally obtain steroids from their local doctors. The video below explains how the people from down under cheat the system in the pursuit for enhanced performance:

Regardless of your personal opinion about this issue, substance abuse is a fast-growing global problem, linked to a great number of health risks, that needs to be addressed by creating adequate policies. Illegally obtaining performance-enhancing drugs of an unknown origin can be a rather dangerous venture, and stronger laws push users deeper into the black market. Let’s face it, people won’t stop using steroids anytime soon. In fact, their popularity seems to grow with each passing year. So what is the best way to handle this situation? Decriminalizing steroids and making their use safer can sound great, but will this increase the number of users and potential health dangers?

Let us know what you think!

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