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Disagreement over Anabolic Steroids There has been a long controversial topic on whether anabolic steroids are seen

as cheating in sports, and also having a drastic outcome on affecting an individuals well being. In the documentary we had watched Bigger, Stronger, Faster by Christopher Bell, he went on a search for the legal and athletic opinions on the usage of anabolic steroids. After watching the documentary, it had shown both aspects of the controversial topic discussing the effects of steroids themselves. Steroids in this film are defined as, a synthetic version of hormones that your body produces naturally (Bell, Documentary). Though there are many different opinions on this issue, watching the film had opened up my eyes in seeing that there isnt any really any documented evidence that steroids have lethal side effects. In my opinion, steroids should be allowed to be used in sports like any other supplement not regulated by the FDA. There are different views on anabolic steroids which will be discussed further in this reflection. In the documentary starring Christopher Bell, he started off the film by describing who his brothers and himself idolized as children. He showed various clips of: Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Rocky films, and WWE superstars depicting them on their body image. As they got older, Bells brothers wasted to pursue careers in WWE. In order to obtain that career path, they had a mentality in which they thought that using anabolic steroids would reach their goals. As Bell watched the outcome of his brothers paths, he went on a journey to find out the true implications upon anabolic steroids as performance enhancing drugs. He starts off by giving the history on where the first congressional meetings were held on issues of anabolic steroids.

As baseball was digging itself out of a rut and becoming popular again with stars like Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds hitting home run records; the issue of anabolic steroids was raised in congress when the baseball stars were caught with these performance enhancing drugs. One congressman states, This is about values, its about our culture, its about who we define ourselves to be, when we want to define to a foreign country what were about, and youre going to show a film, what would you show? (Bell, Documentary). Others were stating that it is a selfish act to use and cheat, or that it was un-American to use these performance enhancing drugs. Then in 1990 the Steroid Control Act was passed, which turned non medical users into federal drug criminals. In my opinion, the statute was passed primarily to control the unfair advantage that one had while performing in sporting events. Advocates since then have stated that steroids can cause heart failure, liver failure, and even cancer. But when asked if they can see the proof or studies, they have no research at all to show. Studies on anabolic steroids are nonexistent, because the government sees it as inhumane to have done studies and research on this particular drug. It is said that tobacco kills about 400 thousand people a year, versus alcohol which kills 75 thousand people a year. Anabolic steroids are shown to have killed only 3 people a year, and are the 142 nd on the list of hospital visits and are an illegal substance. The documentary made a good point on stating that if steroids can be used to cure individuals, then how can it negatively affect a healthy person? Since there havent been any studies done on the short term and long term impacts of anabolic steroids, there is ultimately no proof that it can cause any of the illnesses it is said implement. I have gone about finding a peer reviewed article which has research on the usage of anabolic steroids within the body building community.

In the peer reviewed journal In-depth Interviews with Men and Women Body Builders, Sarah Grogan interviews five men and six women on the proper use and abuse of anabolic steroids. The interviews were conducted at their respected gyms where they had trained on their body building. In her data gathered, she states participants argued that using steroids was a rational decision that they had made, on the basis of careful research to gain muscle mass and contrasted this good use of steroids with misuse (Grogan, 2006). Misuse was characterized as taking too many different steroids at once, and not being knowledgeable on the interactions they would have with one another. Most of her interviews consisted of answers pertaining to them actually doing research on every anabolic steroid and supplement taken. Some of the side effects that the interviewees mentioned are hypertension, liver or kidney damage. Her ending conclusion was that as long as social support between the body building communities remained apparent, there would be prevention on the misuse of performance enhancing drugs. This journal clearly shows that as long as one is knowledgeable and does their research on anabolic steroids, one can prevent any bodily harm from happening. But there are also those who do not do their research and abuse anabolic steroids.

In the journal Long-term psychiatric and medical consequences of anabolicandrogenic steroid abuse: A looming public health concern?, Gen Kanayama conducts a study upon the first wave of anabolic androgenic steroid users. The first wave of anabolic androgenic users, were the ones that started using around the 1980s when it became popular to do so. She wants to find out the health risks these aged users may have accumulated through their years of using performance enhancing drugs which include: cardiovascular effects, neuroendocrine effects, physiological effects, and neuropsychiatric effects. Although she tried to gather a

population that has reported using anabolic androgenic steroids while attending hospital visits, she concludes that there are various different things that could have caused the illnesses individuals reported to have. She states that there has to be long term research conducted on individuals experiencing the problems they may have, and see if they can relate it to their prior drug usage. This journal explicitly shows that in order to figure out if there are any long term or short term side effects, one has to conduct studies and research individuals for a long period of time. In conclusion, I think that one can prevent any side effects from happening if one actually does research on the anabolic steroids they may be using. There are many benefits in using steroids especially in the area of sports, but one has to be careful in not misusing the performance enhancing drug. I think that as long as an individual is knowledgeable on what they are doing, they should have the right to take the drug in order to perform better. There is no scientific fact that steroids can cause any life threatening illnesses when used properly. Until then the government should make it legal, like alcohol and cigarettes.

Citations

Bell, Christopher, Alexander Buono, Tamsin Rawady, and Jim Czarnecki. Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Side Effects of Being American. Los Angeles, Calif: Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2008. Grogan, Sarah. Experiences of Anabolic Steroid Use. Journal of Health Psychology. Vol. 11 No. 6, Pgs. 845-856. 2006. Gen, Kanayama. Long-term psychiatric and medical consequences of anabolicandrogenic steroid abuse: A looming public health concern?. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Vol. 98 Issue.1, Pgs. 1-12. 2008