Many athletes of all ages are turning towards performance enhancing drugs as a way of improving their performance by giving them that extra edge. This is not only wrong but its cheating and harmful to the athlete. Performance enhancing drugs have been around for hundreds of years. The Incas of the South America country Peru used the burned leaves of coca trees to give them great amounts of energy when faced with battles, hunts, ect. Even today they use coca leaves as a way of giving them the energy to do a full days work.
Today we know that the ashes of the coca trees leaves actually contained cocaine. The first recorded drug related death in sports1} was of a European cyclist in 1886. The drug responsible for the cyclist was a mixture of heroin and cocaine2} nicknamed the speedball. Tom Hicks of the U. S. collapsed after winning the marathon in the 1904 Olympics. It was later found that Hicks had drunk a mixture of brandy and strychnine Dolan 1986}. 3} As you can see, the use of drugs to try to enhance performance is not a new idea; athletes have been experimenting with drugs for years.
Probably the most recognized performance enhancing drugs are anabolic steroids. Steroids have been used in medical practice for years. As with most drugs, steroids can be helpful when used under medical supervision. The muscle-building capabilities of steroids were soon discovered by the athletic world. Steroid use by athletes were already under way by the mid 1950s. Steroids were first introduced to the U. S. by the late Dr. John Ziegler. Along with being a physician and scientist, he was also an athlete4}. He was a leading weight lifter5} in the U. S.
In 1956 he traveled to Vienna, Austria for a wrestling meet. While he was there, he talked to a Russian trainer who told him that Russian athletes had discovered a miracle drug6}, anabolic steroids. The athletes had enormous strength gains from this new drug. Dr. Z. wanted to help his country keep up with the Russian competition so when he came home he started prescribing them for his weight lifting friends. The most popular steroid formed under his company is called Dianabol, which still exists today. In time the doctor realized the incredible harm that steroids caused and turned against them.
Right before he died in 1984 he said he wished he had never heard of steroids Dolan, 1986}7}. Of course steroids arent the only performance enhancing drugs. Amphetamines are another popular performance enhancing drug. The popularity of amphetamines in sports is because of the drugs ability to give the body an enormous sense of energy. Just like steroids, amphetamines are widely abused. In 1970 [the] U. S. government passed strict laws against amphetamine abuse Dolan, 1986}8}. These listed are just a few of the many abused drugs being used in athletics. All in all, use by athletes is getting out of hand.
Even after all the research, which concludes that steroids are harmful to the body steroid survey. Indicates use by. Both sexes on the rise. 9} Now the question that Don Herrmann, chairman of the sports medicine committee for the national federation of the state high school association, and America ask is why? David Newton discusses the question in his book Drugs and Sports. The claims for using steroids vary from peer pressure to enhanced performance. 10} As the competition is getting better each year people feel they need to take steroids to enhance their performance so they can, just compete.
To some winning is everything and what people are willing to do in order to win [is] frighten[ing]. 11} Even when some of the steroid users already have the athletic ability they use them anyway just to fit in. That is called peer pressure and its more common among adolescents. Another reason people give for using steroids is for improving the way they look. 12} That is where the majority of females fit in. A study shows that highschool students who used steroids rose from 1. 2% of 40 kids to 1. 7% of 40 kids in the last year.
A question that plagues us all is how much faster is it going to grow? } Though all is not lost for there are many kids like Joey Hess and Chris Lewis, athletes at Southport High school, who claim there is no temptation to use steroids. 14} Ive heard a lot of dangers. Loss of hair and stuff like that, says Hess who plays Football and Baseball. Id like to get big on my own, do something I could be proud of, says Lewis a Basketball player. The overall reason people use performance enhancing drugs is because they feel it is worth the risk. Now that we know performance enhancing drug use is increasing, people find themselves asking what can we do to prevent it.
That is exactly what the National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA} and other organizations thought of. The NIDA has a campaign to prevent drug abuse in sports. 15} There is also a program setup in Oregon where they take the football players to a personal trainer who talks to them about the effects of performance enchanting drugs and show them alternative supplements and goes over workouts to help strengthen them. Many people believe that most performance enhancing drug users are ignorant of the side effects and believe that educating them will help them better choose the right thing.
There is no doubt that steroids make you perform better. Many athletes have proved that already. Apparently many athletes must feel it is worth the risk to use these performance-enhancing drugs. The truth is though if you get caught it will ruin your athletic career16} as it did for 1988 Olympian Ben Johnson who never competed again after he was caught for steroid use in the 1988 Olympic games. Even if Johnson were to ever run again, everybody would suspect him of steroid use even if he didnt test positive.
Sports-drug issues being hotly debated range from the fairness of the drug testing to whether steroid use should be allowed in sports. There are impressive arguments on both sides of each issue, and most people agree that these questions have no easy answer. Perhaps that is because the use of drugs by athletes is so deeply rooted in both the past and present of human experience. Indeed, the topic of drugs and sports is as old as humanity itself and as new as tomorrow mornings headlines. 17} There are always opposing viewpoints and here is another way you can look on the performance enhancing drug, steroids.
The primary reason that steroids should be legal because steroids are abused. According to an Australian physician steroids should be legal and monitored by doctors because danger is not a deterrent to use, citing alcohol and hard drugs as example If steroids were monitored, doctors could prevent abuse. The danger with using steroids is with the abuse of the drug. By preventing the abuse, the danger is minimal. If danger levels could be decreased, steroids should be legalized. It would also stop people wanting the drug so much, because they would have it at their disposal.
The reason people want steroids so bad are because they are so hard to find and, people dont know if they are going top find anymore when they want it. That is a reason why when people get the drug they think the more they take at one time the longer it will last, and the bigger they will get. Once again if steroids were legal people would not be able to take as much or buy as much, because of the monitored use by doctors and physicians. Steroids are not addictive. Steroids are nothing more then a physiological belief that you have to have them or you will not achieve your goals.
Less cost is another reason for legalizing steroids. Over 400 million dollars per year is spent on steroids and other sports drugs in the black market. By legalizing steroids, the demand on the black market for steroids would end, and the price of steroids would be competitive. If steroids were legal, law enforcement costs would also decrease. Legalizing steroids, therefore, would reduce costs to both steroid users and taxpayers. Some have called this posture accepting reality and say that it would lessen the level of hypocrisy in sports and bodybuildong.
You also wouldnt see the number of steroid pusher on our streets, and in our gyms. Instead of pushers trying to make a quick buck you could buy steroids in a store, you know what your buying how much they really are. Legalizing steroids would prevent the selling of fake steroids for 200 dollars more. A third reason for legalizing steroids is because they would be a safer product because of Gov. regulations. Legalization would ensure a safe product. Physicians would also be able to determine the amount that a person should take and monitor the results.
Legalizing steroids would prevent a person from over doing the amount and dying on the spot. Yet, steroids are not legal and consequently a person can take as much as he or she wants. Taking to many steroids causes to many deaths because the steroid user doesnt know what or how much they should take. The U. S. should make steroids legal so people will be educated about steroids by receiving a prescription for them. All steroids are not all toxic, meaning they are not hard on the body. Finally, legalization would allow effective studies of steroids.
Most of our knowledge from steroids comes from our reassert with animals. Research is a necessity to understanding the advantages and disadvantages of steroids. Legalizing steroid would allow better research and more effective studies on animal and humans. In conclusion many athletes are taking drugs to enhance their performance and there are many ways to go about to prevent that. You have to take the first initiative and tell your friends and families about the harmful effects of performance enhancing drugs. If we all do that we can make the future of America almost drug free. It all depends on you!