The myths around steroids

The most common explanation a steroid user would give is that the drug gave them more stamina to work out and/or train harder and thus the added muscle. It is important that the user understands that they are not ‘pumped’ to work harder, that they are simply pumped with extra muscle mass due to the drugs.

Another myth surrounding steroids is the belief that they need no professional guidance to be administered and used. This often leads to addiction, a condition known as anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence. Research on this topic is limited due to the innumerable factors affecting health and lifestyle of sportsmen like diets, exercise regime and performance pressure. However, given the long list of negative side effects, it is always advisable to have a doctor and/or health trainer monitoring dosage.

Social pressure for steroid use and abuse

Adolescents and sportsmen are the most abusive groups of the population when it comes to steroid use. Reasons to get hooked include a need to compete to look equivalent to the ‘quick mass building’ steroid users, both on the fields and in gyms, and also wanting superior performance to meet commercial contracts for survival in their sport.

It is not uncommon to find users wanting to start off with just one dose to build up initial muscle mass and then get addicted to ensure they maintain it. Research estimates a third of steroid users being in this state eventually end up becoming dependent on the drug.

With increasing usage every year, it is important for doctors, sportsmen and concerned authorities to truly understand the science behind how and why steroid affects the body along with the social pressure to start its usage for proper education and awareness of its users and legal measures to be taken related to the issue.

Future research must focus on anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence to understand the psychology of its addiction and rehabilitation and the information thus collected needs to be made accessible to the general public for overall welfare of the people in general and sports community in particular.

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