Student athlete and performance enhancing drugs
What else student athletes value nowadays except excelling in sports. In fact they would do anything to achieve this even if it means using steroids. They are performance enhancing drugs. The recent doping scandals about professional athletes using these drugs certainly do not help to alter the perception that cheating is the way to go. It is in this connection that I have developed an interest in drugs abuse but for now, my main focus will be on student athlete and enhancing performance drugs. Nowadays, even high school and college students use them regularly in an effort to improve their performance in athletics.
They have human made substances that have a relationship with sex hormones. These are misused by athletes especially anabolic steroids, to boost their performance. And if you are an athlete, you want to make that body of yours as strong as can. Steroid users experience health problems some of which are irreversible like liver tumors, cancer, jaundice, high blood pressure, kidney tumors, severe acne and trembling. It can sexually affect the testicles and breast becomes enlarged. To females, it may cause them to grow facial hair, changes in menstrual cycle and deepening in their voice. These drugs find their way to students athletes.
As a parent, you have the role of talking to your child about the dangers of performance enhancement drugs. They should wake up to the bitter fact that even children are using them in high schools and colleges. Steroids can bring quick benefits to anyone who wants to build up their physique, but in the long term, the benefits can soon be outweighed by the risks. Most student athlete use a kind of steroids called anabolic steroids that help them to grow faster. Anabolic steroids make one’s body to look more muscular. They are used by athletes to increase their performance in athletics.
For many student athletes, the temptation of using steroids drugs can be irresistible. After all, who wants to be left behind when it comes to athletic performance? Each and every athlete aspires to excellence, and it is like if you want to succeed then, the path to it requires that a few shortcuts be used. They are also used to shake off fatigue and increase their physical performance in athletics (http://www. steroidabuse. org) some of the drugs mostly used by students are: Creatine, it is sold over the counter and is used to enhance athletic performance, to reduce fatigue and to modify one’s physical appearance.
It is mostly used by people who are involved in energy demanding activities like sprinting and wrestling. Its shortcomings include pain in the stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle cramps. Most teens take them to bulk up and what in reality happens is that the muscles draw water from the rest of the body organs and accumulates in muscles. So, the bulking that results is that water which goes to the muscles but they are not real muscles. What students should know is that, swollen up muscles full of water do not add any strength or do not make one stronger.
Androstenedione (andro) is another drug that is used by student athletes. Its users claim that it increases testosterone production. It is said that it increases the mass of the muscles, energy and strength but in reality it does not do any of these. In October 2004, Anabolic Steroid Control Act it was added to the list of the banned drugs. Its side effects depend on one’s sex or that the effects differ from men to women. In men it causes acne, reduces the sperm count, the testicles decreases in size and their breasts becomes enlarged.
To women it causes acne, masculinization, for example their voice deepens and they get male-pattern baldness. They also affect child’s growth. This drug is used by school students in a mistaken belief that it could boost their performance level in sports. Another drug which is used by student athletes is ephedra. It is made from ephedra plant that contains the chemical called ephedrine. It is said that it reduces physical fatigue, helps in losing weight and improves mental awareness. The drug is not sold over the counter but there are other drugs that have portions of ephedra which are available.
It is considered an illegal product as per the Food and Drug Administration 2003 (Longman S. , 2003) Its side effects are: stroke, heart attacks and sometimes it can result to death. It also causes blood sugar levels to increase and irregular heart beats. This drug is addictive and it is mostly used by athletes. It is said to be an ingredient in sports energy drinks. Anabolic steroids are also drugs which are used by student athletes to boost up their performance in sports. These steroids are taken either orally or by injection. In USA, these performance enhancing drug are available on prescription. It is very hard to know exactly how many student athletes use these drugs because not all students who use them can confess openly.
Another reason why it is difficulty to establish the number of student athletes who use them, is that the tests for these drugs are complex and expensive. Despite all the negative effects of the above mentioned drugs, student athletes still continue to use them for various reasons. Some of the reasons that make them to indulge themselves in these drugs are: They are used by athletes who want to move to greater heights during their training and while performing.
They are mostly used when an athlete reaches a particular point where he or she can move no further. Because of their desire to go beyond that point, they use performance enhancement drugs to go beyond their natural limits. (http://www. steroidabuse. org) Some students devote their time in sports and when they find that they are not performing to their expectations, they resort to drugs out of frustration. Others use performance enhancement drugs out of curiosity. Those students who perform well in sports get curious to know what would happen if they use these drugs.
Students do like experimenting on these drugs. They could also use them because of peer pressures. That is if you are in a company of drug users, definitely you will become one of them unknowingly. Performance drugs are addictive and the satisfactions they give to the users determine whether the user will stop or continue using them. This satisfaction am talking about are the psychological effects that are drawn from them such as aggressiveness, feeling like one is a hero or is invincible.
Student athletes may use enhancement drugs on mistaken belief that they would increase their self esteem especially by having a body that would draw self esteem and admiration from friends. Potential girl friends and boyfriends use them because they think that their competitors would use them. They feel that they are not at par to communicate with those students. Some students continue to use them because they know that there is no test that can detect them. Thus, they are safe in the knowledge that they cannot be caught. Also some parents and couches are ill-informed.
They even do not know the symptoms of a drug user so, they cannot know when their students are on these drugs. They may also choose to ignore signs of performance enhancing drugs. These are the pressures that lure students in to taking these drugs. As a parent you should find out if your student is in athletic association that preaches against the use of these drugs. If you can, write a letter to the appropriate state agency to inquire whether they have banned the use of these drugs. You should be very clear about your expectation as parents teach your son/daughter on the effects of these performance enhancement drugs.
Show them that short term affects leads to long term effects and make no exceptions. Parents should discuss about ethics, dangers and proper training with their children. Student athletes should know that noble athlete means an athlete who competes fairly. Students ought to be reminded that using these drugs is the same as cheating and that they not only could pose health risks to consumers but it should be known that exercising well and eating balanced diets are the true key to athletes’ performance. Parents should talk with college coach to know their stand on performance enhancement drugs.
You could also contact the athletic director of the colleges. We must defend the ethics of sports at all costs. If safety and equality in sports are to be realized, then performance enhancements should be banned. To the makers of sports rules’ use of these drugs is unethical and it is like cheating. Participating while under the performance enhancement drugs its like cheating. The reason why it is considered this way is that it might make a student not to put the required efforts to become a successful and competent athlete.
A student athlete may be disqualified from participating if he/she is proved beyond any reasonable doubts that he is on drugs. A student may forfeit all the prizes won while he/she is under the influence of drugs. Do you imagine somebody who does not deserve to win gold medals in games winning and yet you know he/she could not have won? You are sure that he/she never tasted the ordeal of practice, training and conditioning. These medals would be incommensurate and unworthy.
These medals should be worked for. According to National Drug Control Policy. 3% of college men were dissatisfied with some part of their bodies and they would like to change them. 46% of college men with normal weight are very concerned with it. 25% of college men are on some form of diet to increase their weight. 45% of college students are not happy with the size of their muscles and 38% of men would like to have bigger muscles (Longman S. , 2003) it should be known that performance enhancing drugs can have beneficial effects on the body, such as alleviating fatigue and enhancing musculature but if they are taken indiscriminately, they can cause serious harm. Statistics
Performance enhancing drugs also called steroids are drugs that are used to boost athlete’s performance. They reduce fatigue and improve physical appearance such as big muscles. In a study that was conducted (Longman S. , 2003) it was noted that the use of anabolic steroids is on the increase especially among weightlifters and gymnasts. Studies suggest that about 5-11% of college boys and 0. 5-2. 5 % of college girls have once tried these drugs. According to a survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, steroid use among high school students, more than doubled between 1991 and 2003.
Over 6% of 15,000 students surveyed admitted trying steroid pills or injections. At the same time, less than 4% of the nation’s high schools were testing for steroids, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ survey of athletic directors. A Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a research and in 2004 and established that 1. 9 percent of 8th graders, 2. 4 percent of 10th graders and 3. 4 percent of 12th graders had admitted using steroids at some time. (http://www. teroidabuse. org)
Out of frustration, when athletes have reached a deadlock and they want to go further. Taken out of curiosity. Peer pressure or implicit approval from coaches. According to a 2003 study by the office of national drug control policy, 93% of college men were dissatisfied with some part of their body, 46% of college men with normal weight are very concerned with their lives, 25% of college men are on some form of diet. 45% of college students are not happy with their muscles size and 38% of men want bigger muscles (Longman S. , 2003)