With all the accusations floating in the air recently about the use of steroids by highly-paid, and highly-respected, professional athletes, many people have become more aware of these drugs. Unfortunately, not so many realize the danger inherent in using anabolic steroids to increase strength and power.
First of all, anabolic steroids are prescription drugs.
Think about it!
Things that are usually only available through a prescription are only available through a prescription because they are potentially dangerous in some way.
To understand the dangers of anabolic steroids, we should first understand what they are, as well as what they do.
Anabolic steroids are simply a synthetic reproduction of testosterone, the basic male hormone. Testosterone is, among other things, responsible for the physical strength and power, and muscle size, which tends to be more possible in the male than the female.
They are legitimately used by doctors to treat such diverse conditions as kidney disease, muscle diseases, breast cancer, burns, and certain rare types of anemia. However, competent doctors use them cautiously and in minimal doses because of their potentially dangerous side effects. The list of side effects is a long one, and I will not reproduce it here, but they range from the inconvenient to the very dangerous. Most doctors will not prescribe them for bodybuilders and other athletes, and non-athletes, who simply want to increase their performance, and/or physique.
Those who wish to use anabolic steroids for such purposes will generally have to obtain them from a black market source or with the aid of unethical physicians. Even though this is a conscious choice on the part of the parties involved to break the law and endanger their health and the safety of others around them, one estimate made a couple of years ago put the number of people illegally using steroids at about two million!
In normal use, steroids may be taken orally or injected in small, relatively safe, doses. When used illegally by bodybuilders and other athletes, and even some police officers and criminals, they are generally taken in massive doses far above the normal dosage used for therapeutic purposes.
When such huge doses are combined with resistance training programs, they generally DO increase strength and muscle mass. However check over here, research and reality have both demonstrated that the adverse side effects, and just plain danger inherent in their use, vastly outweigh the desired benefits.