Performance enhancement drugs such as anabolic steroids are medications used for enhancing physical endurance, muscle growth, and other attributes relating to athletic performance. Though the drugs’ specific effects haven’t been inspected thoroughly, they are associated with several disadvantages. As aforementioned, performance-enhancing supplements comprise anabolic steroids, which are also called just steroids, and drugs that have diuretics and/or stimulants. Using these drugs could result in adverse emotional, physical, financial and legal consequences.
Decreased Athletic Performance
These performance enhancers could negatively affect athletic performance. Drugs containing diuretics could cause exhaustion, muscle cramping, dehydration and dizziness between or during athletic activities. Drugs that have stimulants – for instance, caffeine and ephedrine – could cause sleep problems and nervousness. Steroid usage could instigate depression – a state characterized by decreased motivation, sadness and purposelessness. This could also decrease athletic potential or the willingness to take part in sports.
Sexual Side Effects
Several performance-boosting drugs are associated with sexual issues. Steroid abuse could cause the testicles to shrink, and/or may lead to breast enlargement and infertility in men. Women could develop a bigger clitoris, their breasts may shrink and their menstruation cycles could become irregular. Women and men could experience decreased libido (sex drive) due to administering steroids or drugs that imitate the effect of steroids. Pubescent boys could develop painful or enlarged penis size and frequent erections. Girls and boys could have delays in their sexual growth/development.
Steroids used for enhancing athletic performance could alter physical appearances in women and men. Women could develop excessive body and facial hair. Both the genders could develop major acne issues and/or experience baldness. Generally, men could look more feminine and women may acquire a more masculine appearance, which is due to the steroids’ impact on sexual hormones.
Health Issues and Death
These drugs are connected with a plethora of potentially major health issues. Steroid abuse heightens psychiatric illness and liver abnormalities risks. Also, they could lead to viruses – for instance, hepatitis and HIV – when shared needles are used to inject the drugs. Drugs that have stimulant traits could lead to enhanced blood pressure, increased heart attack and stroke risks, and heart palpitations. In certain cases, performance-stimulating supplements have been associated with death.
Mood swings, nervousness, irritability, hostility, depression, and delusions are likely emotional side effects. Withdrawal and dependency after stopping drug usage are also likely. People having psychological disorders or a history of such problems in the family could have increased emotional side effects risks.