In many cases, the subject of steroids abuse is brought up when talking about the use of these substances among athletes or bodybuilders. Steroids, which are also known as anabolic steroids, are named for the synthetic substance that is related to testosterone. Testosterone is a sex hormone found in most male species, and in male humans, it is responsible for facial hair, muscle and bone growth, and the development of reproductive tissues.
Steroids were developed to help with testosterone issues, a condition known as hypogonadism. It was also used to treat delayed puberty, impotence and help people whose bodies had been ravaged by certain diseases. However, it was found that steroids could help with muscle growth too and this is when athletes and bodybuilders started using it illegally and abusing it.
Steroids are illegal to use without a prescription. People often take steroids orally, inject it in the muscle, or apply a gel or cream on their skin. The dose for non-medical use of steroids can be 10 to 100 times higher than medical doses.
Steroid Abuse Among Athletes
For bodybuilders, steroids help speed up muscle growth far faster than how the human body does naturally. Steroids target the androgen receptor in muscle tissue and gets inside to the cells, prompting them to start producing more of the protein that builds muscles.
Not all steroid use is about building muscle, however. Athletes often partake in steroids abuse to enhance their performance in sports and reduce muscle breakdown. When training, the body releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which breaks down muscle tissues and makes people sore after workouts. Steroids work by stopping cortisol from binding to the receptors in our muscles, slowing down the natural breakdown process. This means athletes can recover far more quickly and improve their performance over all.
Whatever the reason that an individual has for abusing steroids, this behavior can has serious and harmful effects.