The facts of anabolic steroids, if you're like most people you have no idea what the true facts of anabolic steroids are. You've seen the news reports, you've heard so-called government experts speak on capital hill, and you've most certainly seen many in the media go into a tirade time and time again. The topic of anabolic steroids is a very emotional one, and unfortunately, this emotion often takes precedence over logic. This emotional hysteria often runs so deep that when the facts of anabolic steroids are discussed the actual facts are nowhere to be found. You've heard the horror stories, you've been told steroid users are some of the most detestable people on earth and that use will more than likely cause your brain to explode. For one reason or another, very few people ever question the claims made by so-called steroid experts. By “so-called steroid experts,” in most cases, we're referring to those deemed an expert but truly have no business talking about the compounds. They have been deemed an expert because they tow the party line, they continue the hysteria and that keeps a lot of people happy. This raises an important question, wherein lies the truth? Let's look at the basic facts of anabolic steroids, because what we have to show you may shock you!
Anabolic steroids are commonly described in a manner that's similar to recreational drugs. In the U.S. they are controlled substances, amended into the Controlled Substance Act with the Steroid Control Act of 1990. This lumps anabolic steroids in with recreational drugs, and when listening to facts of anabolic steroids from most “experts” you'd assume there's really not much difference. Let's look at some basic facts in regards to their origin and some comparisons versus recreational drugs:
· Anabolic steroids are not foreign substances to the body. They are synthetic versions of hormones the human body already produces, primarily testosterone
and dihydrotestosterone. In some cases, they are structurally altered versions of those hormones. For example, a double carbon bond will be added or a
carbon atom removed in one specific position in order to promote stronger anabolic traits or reduce the androgenic traits of a hormone. Alterations can
also be added in order to increase the steroid's bioavailability, slow down its release time in the body for a more even flow, etc. Although synthetic,
there's really no difference in these hormones than the ones your body already naturally produce. Anabolic steroids are not foreign substances to the body.
· Anabolic steroids share nothing in common with recreational drugs. Anabolic steroids do not have the ability to give the individual a high, nor can they alter his thought process, take away his sense of right and wrong or alter his personality. The psychological altering effects of anabolic steroids have been found to be extremely minimal. When congress implemented the Steroid Control Act of 1990, it was the psychological factors that were needed in order to legally amend the hormones into the Controlled Substances Act. Without such traits they could not be legally classified. Congress would call on numerous government agencies to support this claim including the American Medical Association who would state no such support existed. The AMA's testimony would be supported by numerous health agencies as well as the DEA, and they would stand in unison in opposition to the legislation. Congress would ignore the testimony and classify the hormones as controlled substances just the same without the evidence needed to legally do so. When it coms to facts of anabolic steroids, this is a pretty big one!
Anabolic steroids are commonly labeled as drugs, and on one hand this is accurate but on another it's a little off base. First and foremost we must understand the definition of a drug, which is defined in two parts:
1. A drug is any substance that is used to treat an ailment or any type of medical condition.
2. A drug must cause some type of action or reaction that could not occur without the intervention of the drug in the human body.
By number one, anabolic steroids most certainly fit the bill. Steroids are regularly used to treat ailments such as anemia, osteoporosis, over exposure to corticosteroids, angioedema, muscle wasting diseases like cancer and AIDS as well as to treat hormone deficiencies among many other things. However, vitamins and minerals are often used to treat or improve physical health, yet we do not label them as drugs, and no one in their right mind would. Then we have number two, and this is where the facts of anabolic steroids versus drugs takes a sharp left turn. An anabolic steroid cannot cause a reaction in the human body that is impossible without its intervention. Remember, these are synthetic versions of the very steroidal hormones your body already produces. The idea behind anabolic steroid use is rather simple, there are three distinct purposes that are all interconnected, they include:
1. Anabolic steroids are used because the body is lacking in a specific steroid. The body's needs are not being met and a synthetic version must be applied
in order for those needs to be met.
2. By increasing hormone levels, there is more of the hormone available to treat a specific ailment. We haven't given the body a foreign substance,
however, we have provided the body more fuel to fight the condition.
3. By increasing hormone levels, we now have more of the hormone available to do what it does best. This is where we enter the realm of performance enhancement. Higher hormone levels equal greater performance. Pretty cut and dry.
The facts of anabolic steroids surrounding the users themselves are some of the most misleading facts of all. Anabolic steroid users are often portrayed as criminals; lowlife individuals who are nothing short of the scum of the earth. However, there's only one question to ask, is this true? Depending on the estimate you look at, we know there are approximately 2-6 million adults in the U.S. alone who supplement with anabolic steroids for the sole purpose of performance enhancement. We also know that nearly 90% of those individuals play no competitive sport. Such individuals are gym rats looking for a better body and nothing more. We also know based on market sales of anabolic steroids the number of steroid users is more than likely far beyond 6 million.
Regardless of the specific number of anabolic steroid users in the U.S. we know it's a fairly high number. It's definitely higher than many on the anti-side of the fence want to admit. However, the amount of use by adolescents is actually much lower than they want to admit. A 2010 study produced by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that 2% of all high school seniors had used anabolic steroids at one point. This is much lower than often implied, and does not compare to alcohol-71%, cigarettes-42.2% and marijuana-43.8%; these statistics were all pulled from the same NIDA study. Again this brings us to the next question, what about the actual steroid users? When it comes to the facts of anabolic steroids, what do we know about the typical user? Are they lowlifes hanging out on street corners? Are they detestable, selfish and otherwise individuals who contribute nothing to society? Far from it, anabolic steroid users in the U.S. represent one of the best classes of people in the country. They are your friends and neighbors, they work with you, go to church with you and their kids play with your kids. It just so happens they supplement with anabolic steroids in order to stay in shape, live a healthier and happier life, and to simply feel a little better. In order to give you the true facts of anabolic steroids and their users, we have taken some statistics produced by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, and its findings may shock you:
· Average age of steroid users in the U.S. is 31 with more than 50% being married.
· 98.5% were employed with the majority being employed in white collar positions.
· The vast majority did not play any competitive sport.
· The average household income was $70,000 per year compared to the non-steroid using population whose average household income was at $44,684 during the
time of this study.
· Fewer anabolic steroid users are high school dropouts and have completed college than almost any other segment of the population.
These represent facts of anabolic steroids most people do not want to hear. We want to hear that anabolic steroid users are the scum of the earth, and that they're walking around beating and thrashing people into the ground. After all, this is what we've been told to believe. Of course, you've more than likely been told about roid rage and things of this nature. You've been told this despite no credible medical evidence existing to support any type of psychological effect. In fact, there is a lot of credible medical evidence that supports things like roid rage being a myth, but no one ever talks about that because the made up facts of anabolic steroids are far more appealing to the public than the actual truth.