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ACSM CURRENT COMMENT

Anabolic Steroids
The use of drugs to enhance strength and endurance has been observed for thousands of
years. Today, individuals, including adolescents, continue to employa variety of drugs, such
as anabolic steroids, in hope of improving their athletic performance and appearance.
Anabolic steroids are not mood altering immediately following administration. Instead,the
appetite for these drugs has been created predominantly by our societal fixations on winning
and physical appearance.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the primary male sex hormone,testosterone.
Testosterone, produced primarily by the testes, is responsible for the masculinization and
muscle growth during male adolescence. Anabolic steroids are administered primarily in theoral and injectable forms, and needle sharing has been reported, especially among
adolescents. These drugs are usually obtained from black market sources, which often
include distributors of otherillegal drugs.
Individuals who use anabolic steroids, particularly those experienced in weight training, will
experience increases in strength and muscle significantly beyond those observed fromtraining alone. Regardless, the use of anabolic steroids is not without negative
consequences. First, steroid use is illegal and in violation of state and federal laws. Second,
it's considered cheating!To protect the health of the athletes and to maintain the spirit of fair
competition, virtually all organizations overseeing athletic competitions, including the
National Federation of State HighSchool Associations, oppose the use of anabolic steroids.
However, many adolescents who use anabolic steroids do not participate in schoolsponsored sports. Third, adolescent steroid users are exposingthemselves to potentially
serious health problems during the physically and emotionally vulnerable period when their
own hormonal cycles are changing. Physical health concerns associated with...
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