In this article we will discuss the impact of performance enhancing drugs on our everyday lives.
Performance- Enhancing Drugs: When easy seems too easy
For many people looking to kick start their athletic performance taking performance enhancing drugs seems like the easiest answer. While the upside to doing so may very well seem ideal. Often it is not. Taking these kinds of drugs have far too many side effects.
While taking stimulants can boost an athlete’s performance and promote aggressiveness on the field, they have side effects that can seriously impair the athlete.
Such as: nervousness, irritability which can make it difficult to concentrate on the sport that they are participating in, insomnia and dehydration. At the moment that may seem a small price to pay to get the results that you are after, the cost of long term use is far reaching.
For parents not used to dealing with performance enhancing drugs and their teens there are some definite red flags that you can look out for. If your child who has always had an easy going nature suddenly starts acting out, having emotional swings or psychological changes particularly increased aggressive behavior.
If there is a rapid change in their body build such as muscle growth and rapid weight gain.
If you see a sudden break out of acne. These may all be signs that he/she has been using performance enhancing drugs.
Why Do Athletes Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs
We find that there is a need to fit in. What better way is there for that than participating in organized sports. We find that many young people find their self worth and identity in their ability to perform well in sports.
When that doesn’t happen they find themselves reaching out for different ways to increase their ability.
Once down that rabbit hole it is necessary to continue the use of PED to continue playing at the level that they have set for themselves. This starts a downward spiral that they can’t find their way out of.
The nature of competition today starting as young as junior high, high school and college is fierce and there are thousands of young athletes competing for a minimum number of scholarships.
With many of them having hopes and dreams of reaching the pro team within their sport, so any edge that they can gain is one that they will jump at.
Playing at a level that is normally out of reach for them can result in injuries that will plague them for the rest of their lives. Which can create lifelong habits of drug abuse.
Both genders are at risk when taking any of these enhancement drugs.
Some have long lasting effects on the body. Some of these can include abnormalities in your liver which can lead to liver cancer, a decrease of good cholesterol and an increase of bad cholesterol, risk of high blood pressure, risk to your heart such as heart attack, heart rhythm problems and thickening of the heart muscle, problems with blood circulation and psychiatric disorders such as an increase in aggressive behaviors, rage, violence and depression and an increased tendency to drug addiction.
Other Reasons For Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs
Performance enhancing drugs while primarily used to increase athleticism has other uses as well.
Teens may reach out to experiment with this class of drugs for many reasons but the main ones outside of athletic performance are to cope with body image limitations such as in the case of young women.
When their friends are developing faster than they are they may want to speed along mother nature and help by taking performance enhancing drugs. Or in the case of a young man he may want to gain muscle and strength as well as endurance to be better able to perform in just regular sports.
And then there is the simple reason of just being able to fit in with their peers.
The question remains: do performance enhancing drugs really boost performance?
While it certainly seems that way, can we discount the cost that needs to be paid for the short term results?
While the jury is still out on the long term effects that these drugs have on our bodies and minds the short term risks are clear.
It is also important to remember that the use of performance enhancing drugs are illegal in most if not all professional sports. So at the end of the day no matter how you look at it the use of this type of drugs seems to pose more risk than gain.