Steroids -- Cause and Effect Term Paper

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Steroids -- Cause and Effect

The cause in terms of why people -- especially those involved in athletic competition -- would take a drug as dangerous as anabolic steroids is easy to understand: athletes want an edge, they want to have a body that is more powerful and can propel them to victory, winning, and personal pride. The effects of anabolic steroids in the short-term can seem positive for the user; however, in the long run the effects of anabolic steroids are highly negative, and this paper brings to light the reasons why steroids are dangerous and can lead to serious physical and mental problems for the individual.

What are steroids? What are the different types of steroids?

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First it should be established that not all steroids have negative impacts on people. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) point out that when treating "Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA)," medical doctors use "corticosteroids" to create more red blood cells. DBA is a medical problem that occurs when the body's hemoglobin -- which produces red blood cells (red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body) -- is not producing a sufficient number of red blood cells. Treating the DBA patient with corticosteroids usually helps create more red blood cells within two to three weeks, the CDC explains. There are side effects associated with the use of corticosteroids, the CDC points out, and those include high blood pressure, upset stomach, sleeping problems, irritability, "…increased fat on the face…upper back and belly" and an increased risk of pneumonia, "thrush (white coating in the mouth) and other infections" (CDC).

Term Paper on Steroids -- Cause and Effect the Cause Assignment

When it comes to anabolic steroids, there are also side effects, but they are far more intense and serious than corticosteroids. What are anabolic steroids? The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes anabolic steroids as "…synthetic substances similar to the male sex hormone testosterone" (NIDA). They can be taken orally or injected into the body and are referred to as "juice," or "gym candy," "pumpers" and "stackers" (NIDA). There was a study conducted in 2010 by the NIDA that showed: a) less than half of one percent of 8th graders have used anabolic steroids; b) 1% of 10th graders have used anabolic steroids; c) and 1.5% of high school seniors have used / abused anabolic steroids (NIDA).

Anabolic steroids are actually mimicking the male sex hormones that are called androgens, according to psychology professor Lindsay Sutton with Vanderbilt University. Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced to act as testosterone, the male hormone that is also present in women (to a lesser degree of course), according to Sutton, who explains that the original purpose for the development of anabolic steroids was not to help athletes cheat but to treat symptoms such as "hypogonadism," when testes are not producing enough testosterone "…for normal growth, development and sexual functioning…[and also for] impotency, HIV and other infectious diseases" (Sutton, 2012, p. 3).

Through laboratory experimentation scientists learned that anabolic steroids "…facilitate the growth of skeletal muscles," which is why body builders and other athletes use these drugs. Sports activists and college and professional athletes can "…work out harder and more frequently since their muscles are recovering faster and developing more rapidly" (Sutton, 3). Sutton asserts that men are not the only users of anabolic steroids.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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