Steroids and Drug Use in Sports

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International Olympic Committee and Major League Baseball seeking to clamp down on steroids and other drug use and addiction by revising drug testing policies

The driving force behind competition has led individuals within various athletic arenas to tarnish themselves, their sport and their country by using performance-enhancing drugs. With the ongoing BALCO scandal and the naming of specific athletes, including an Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones and the Major League single-season homerun record holder Barry Bonds.

The ongoing controversy over drug use in athletics has also led to Senator John McCain offering help from a Legislative level. Major League Baseball and the International Olympic Committee are continuing investigations and seeking out possible reform to current policies regarding steroid and other drug use.

Since the 1950s, some athletes have been taking anabolic steroids to build muscle and boost their athletic performance. Increasingly, other segments of the population also have been taking these compounds.

Regardless of whether it is considered right or wrong in athletics, there are plenty of documented health risks and side effects associated with steroids. In addition to this there is the abuse potential and the possibility of leading to addiction to other drugs as well.

Seeing role models artificially enhancing themselves for increased performance, condoning use of drugs such as marijuana or even simply saying that they have a right to not be tested for using illicit drugs represents a bad example for our children. It can act as a built-in justifier, “So and so does it, and look where he (or she) is.” For the sake of our future, the last thing we need is to make it look okay for our children to do drugs.

While recent studies indicate that 90% of high school students view steroid use as dangerous, there has been a 50% increase in the number of teens who have tried steroids since 1991. Overall, the prevalence of lifetime illegal steroid use among students in grades 9-12 is higher among males (6.8%) than females (5.3%).

Teens that use steroids are more likely to engage in other risky behaviors as well. For example, one study found that teen steroid users were more likely to use alcohol and illicit drugs, practice risky sex and engage in suicidal behavior.

When dealing with addiction, to steroids or any other drugs, it is important to handle the situation without using more chemicals that alter the body. Though it sounds simple, too many treatment programs assign addiction the label of being a brain disease and therefore attempt to treat the problem with more drugs to “restore balance.”

There is one program that is currently operating in 40 countries and rapidly expanding due to its effectiveness. It is a treatment and education organization called Narconon which utilizes the successful drug-free rehabilitation methodology researched and developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

Narconon Arrowhead is the largest center in the international Narconon network, and according to an Arrowhead representative, “We do see a number of people that have become addicted to stimulants such as cocaine, crack and methamphetamine as a result of their steroid use.”

To find out more information about drugs or to get help for a loved one in need, contact Narconon Arrowhead today at 1-800-468-6933 or log on to http://www.stopaddiction.com.

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Luke Catton
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