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Strength. Muscle. Power. To survive on the football field, you need these qualities in abundance. So how can they be developed? Long hours in the gym, superior genetics, and a carefully prepared nutritional plan are the traditional methods to achieving these goals. For many who are brought up in an instant solution society, however, the traditional way is too hard, too long, and too unpredictable. They want their power, and they want it now. How are they going to get it? For thousands of young men the answer is simple – steroids. Within a few months on a steroid program they are able to pack on quality pounds of solid muscle, they are able to run faster, they can play better and they can hit harder. The temptation to improve in such dramatic fashion has led many a young jock to become addicted to chemical performance enhancers. So, what’s the harm in that, you may ask. After all aren’t most of the pros taking this stuff?

While it may be true that many professional athletes are using steroids, that in itself is not a valid reason for others to do so. Only a careful weighing of the risk/benefit ratio will empower a person to make an informed decision on this matter. So, then, what are the facts on anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids are powerful synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. Originally developed to treat malnourished people, artificial testosterone was extensively used by the Russian Weightlifting Federation in the 1950s to boost performance. In order to compete on the international stage, an American doctor introduced the drug into the U.S. in the late ‘50s. The drug was refined and provided in both injectable as well as capsule form. The result was bigger bodies, stronger and faster athletes and the smashing of international sports records by athletes with this new artificial advantage. Before long, the urge to use steroids was rife among not only athletes but also the average guy who simply wanted to look good on the beach. But, it was soon discovered, there was a price to pay.

The list of problems associated with steroid use makes for sobering reading. Paranoia, hallucinations, violently aggressive episodes and manic depression are all well documented as a direct result of steroid use. Physical problems include atrophy of the testicles, enlarged breasts, sterility and impotence. There is also the risk of liver tumours, kidney damage, stroke, heart disease and a change in personality that can lead to violent and suicidal tendencies.

Weighing against these very real dangers is the short term glory of sporting accomplishment. Yet, is it really worth the price for a few years of sporting accomplishment to be permanently disabled or perhaps to have your life cut short by many years? To sacrifice your health – the one thing that you truly possess – for short term glory is quite simply stupid. It is a decision that you will regret a thousand times over. So, do yourself a favour – resist the temptation to cheat with steroids.