Steroids -- an Introduction to Purpose Uses Research Paper

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Steroids -- an Introduction to Purpose, Uses and Abuses

TYPES OF STEROIDS

HOW STEROIDS WORK

USERS OF STEROIDS

MEDICAL USE OF STEROIDS

HOW ARE STEROIDS ABUSED

EFFECTS OF STEROIDS ON HEALTH

EFFECTS OF STEROIDS ON BEHAVIOR

PREVENTION & TREATMENT OF STEROID ABUSE

Steroids are used for many purposes. This paper highlights the introduction of steroids i.e. its basic function. It also explains the multiple uses of steroids by people from different fields of profession. Normal perception of people is that it is used by athletes and sportsmen as a drug but there are other uses discussed in the paper as well. Advantages and disadvantages are also stated in the essay.

Steroids are short for corticosteroid drugs. It is a substance which is used to reduce swelling and inflammation quickly. These drugs are a close copy of cortisol and aldosterone i.e. A hormone produced on adrenal gland, it is also secreted by ovaries and testes. Steroids belong to the class of lipids. They have a distinguished molecular ring structure called "thecyclopentanoperhydro-phenanthrene" ring system. The basic difference among steroids is due to change in several side chains and additional rings. They are present in both animals and plants. There is a wide range of steroid forms such as vitamin D, digitalis, sterol and bile acids. Some steroids also control metabolic system of human body. Anabolic steroids are male hormones used and most of the time abused by athletes and bodybuilders because it creates strength. Hence corticosteroids and anabolic steroids are not the similar steroids (Columbia Encyclopedia Editors, 2012). In this paper, we will discuss the types and usage of steroids. Also the users of steroids are as important as any other aspect because it is a common misconception that only athletes use/abuse steroids. This essay will highlight that youngsters have been using steroids for a long time for different purposes and their percentage is increasing day by day. Also, there are several methods of steroid abuse but some common methods and processes are described and explained later in this paper.

TYPES OF STEROIDS

About 600 different types of steroid exist but there are three basic types if steroids; corticosteroids, estrogenic steroids and anabolic steroids.Corticosteroids are used to control pain and inflammation and have very less potential of misused. Estrogenic Steroids are also not likely to be abused by its users; these are made from female sex hormones for birth control and replacement ofestrogen after removal of ovaries. Anabolic are made from male sex hormones and have been used in a limited dosage medically to enhance muscle strength of those patients who have little or no potential of natural recovery. This type of steroid ha the highest potential of being misused (Clayton, 1998). Steroids are used by either injection (needle into skeletal muscle) or ingested (pills). Some of common oral steroids are anadrol, oxandrin and dianabol. Some injected steroids are decca, depo and equipoise. All of these are available only by prescription but use of steroid without prescription is illegal.

HOW STEROIDS WORK

Steroids are synthetic form of natural testosterone hormones. They work as a supplement when micro-tears are produced in the muscle fiber by weight lifting. The natural repair system of human body repairs the tear and overcompensate it by adding bigger cells to create stronger fibers, this process is called hypertrophy. The repeated process of tear down and repair results in muscle growth. Anabolic steroids travel through bloodstream and work their way into muscle tissue. The cell growth is stimulated when steroid interacts with the muscle cell's DNA once it is received by Andersen receptor of muscle cell (Peterson, 2009).

USERS OF STEROIDS

Abuse of steroids in sports has been under study for a very long time now. In 1988, the research of PopeShowed that 20% of athletes and 1% non-athlete students were using steroids and from then 2% were those who used anabolic steroids. Other reports show that 6.6% high school students whereas 3% college level students showed abuse of steroids related to sports (Mottram, 2003). Using drugs to improve performance by athletes and sportsmen is known as "doping." World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was formed by the collaboration of International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) on uproar against steroids; John McCain's hearing on doping case was a primary part of this. Also, National Football League and National basketball Association have their own anti-doping programs implemented similar WADA (Coleman & Coleman, 2008).

Studies have shown that people from different cultures and ethnic groups. According to Monitoring the Future study shows that in year 200 almost 2.5% of all 12th grade reported using steroids, and it doubled in two-year to 4%. Most of the teenagers use the steroids for enhancing the athletic performance but most of them use it to create "ideal body image" (University of Michagan, 2012). The Department of Health and Human Services reported that 12% male and 2.5% female teenagers use steroid for one purpose or the other and most popular steroids among them are anabolic steroids. This does not imply that steroids are only harmful for youngsters. If used under proper medical guidance with controlled dosage, steroids can prove to be helpful for muscle enhancement along with healthy diet and proper sleep (e-Steroids.com).

MEDICAL USE OF STEROIDS

Steroids belong to an important class of hormones. Hormones are produced by specialized cells and released into circulatory system to produce physiological response upon interaction with receptor proteins. Natural and synthetic steroids are used by physicians in order to generate certain response of any tissue. A synthetic version of cortisol is hydrocortisone which is used to treat skin problems and also in inhalers for asthmatic patients.Swelling of injuries can also be controlled by this in injection form (Washimgton). Progesterone and estradiol steroids are also commonly used. Both of these are used by female patients, progesterone is used during pregnancy and estradiol regulates female characteristics. Both of these steroids are components of birth control pills and for prevention of ovulation. Anabolic steroids are also used for osteoporosis treatment and late stages of AIDS (Wolfson & Harwood-Nuss, 2009).

HOW ARE STEROIDS ABUSED

There are two conventional methods of taking steroids; through pills and by injection. However, now-a-days they also come in the form of gel or cream which is applied directly to the skin. The abuse of steroid is associated with 10% to 100% increase in dosage as compare to dosage of medical condition (NIH, 2001). National Institute of Health in a report describes three usual methods by which steroids are abuse; cycling, stacking and pyramiding. Cycling refers to a process in which the user uses multiple doses of steroids for a certain period of time, and then stops the dosage completely for a specified time. Then start again when that period is finished and hence the cycle goes on and on. In another process called stacking, users frequently mix many different types of steroids together and den use them. The word "stack" refers to combination of different anabolic steroids together. Usually these mixes consist of combinations of oral and/or injectable steroids. Pyramid refers to the kind of abuse consisting of increase of dosage of steroids through a certain period of time. This increase occurs in dosage and the frequency of use of type of steroids used during the process. In the mid-cycle the user reaches the peak and hence starts to decrease the usage gradually. The cycle of pyramid steroid abuse consists of 6 to 12 weeks period. The user starts off with low dosage at the beginning of first cycle and slowly increases the dose and in the second half, the dose is decreased to zero. The common misconception among steroid users is that pyramid cycle gives their body sufficient time to adjust to high dose in first cycle and second cycle allows the natural hormone system of human body to adjust and restore its form (NIH, 2001).

EFFECTS OF STEROIDS ON HEALTH

Long-term use of steroids cause many discomforts and is proved to be harmful for human body. Some of the most common long-term causes of steroids are quick weight gain, stunted growth, extreme behavioral changes, skin rashand acne, loss of appetite and risk of infectious disease like HIV or Hepatitis due to sharing needles. Study shows that normal hormone production system of human body is completely disrupted due to the use of steroids (Bahrke, Yesalis-III, & Wright, 1990).Some irreversible changes like baldness in men or body hair growth in women also results due to steroid abuse. Increase in cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack is also a prominent side-effect of steroid abuse even in young people. Liver can also become a victim of steroid abuse through liver tumor or a rare liver condition called peliosishepatis. In this condition cysts are formed in the liver which are filled with blood and can cause internal bleeding if rupture. Skin diseases like acne, oily hair and skin and cysts are common complaints after steroid abuse. Other infections are caused by steroid abuse due to unhygienic and illegal production…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:

"Teens-and-steroids" 
"How-Do-Steroids-Work?" 

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