The Truth About Performance Enhancing Drugs

2 min read
  What are performance enhancing drugs? Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), such as anabolic steroids and human growth hormones, are commonly synthetic hormones, used to increase the body's existing hormone levels, such as testosterone. Depending on the drug, they most commonly come in pill form or can be injected.   Why do people take them? Performance enhancing drugs are used to do just that, enhance your performance...or so they claim. Results depend on the drug taken, however the majority of PEDs are used to gain muscle mass, improve endurance and recovery.   What are the side affects? Worryingly, the effects of high dosages of these drugs can not be measured on humans as doing so would be deemed as unethical. However, side effects for even low doses include:
  • Baldness
  • Aggression (roid rage)
  • Infertility
  • Sever Acne
  • Hypertension
  • Heart, circulatory and liver problems
  • Mental health issues
  • Organ damage/failure
  • Cancer
As shown at How Stuff Works, animals that were given anabolic steroids had increased levels of vasopressin, the gas for aggression, and lower levels of serotonin, the hormone that breaks aggression. These affects are long-lasting - even those who stopped taking the drugs remained aggressive for a long time afterwards. PED use is increasingly worrying for adolescents, as their bodies are still developing and use can result in long-term behavioral problems, in addition to the physical side-effects.   What is being done to stop PED usage? Governing bodies, such as the NCAA, and educational institutions, enforce drug-free athletics. The NCAA run year round testing for a wide range of PEDs and street drugs, with over 11,000 student athletes being tested per year. In addition to this, many colleges and universities carry out their own drugs testing.   What are the penalties? If you are caught using performance enhancing drugs while at college or university, you will be automatically disqualified and withheld from playing for 1 full season. Caught a second time using PEDs and you will be permanently disqualified.    

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