There is no denying that people want a body they can be proud of. No matter your reasons for wanting this, it's important to know the risks involved and how you might protect yourself in the long run.
In 2015, the former professional basketball player Lamar Odom struggled using crack, cocaine, and marijuana, almost suffering from a near-fatal overdose. It is easy to slip up and use more than you should, no matter how careful you are. Therefore, before turning to performance enhancement drugs such as anabolic steroids, or diuretics, learn about potential risks. Here is how substance abuse can consume you:
How Do Performance Enhancement Drugs Impact You?
Drug abuse is common in athletes. Over 60% of American bodybuilders use steroids, more than half of the American football teams use opioids, and even nine out of ten college athletes drink alcohol.
Substance abuse lets you perform better, develops your stamina, and gives you a faux sense of confidence as you compete. This can easily be you since there is immense peer pressure from your friends and personal trainer to become an optimum athlete fast. However, once you start using, it becomes harder to quit.
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However, continuous usage and abuse of drugs with no gaps can impact you as follows:
1. Damages Your Brain
Anabolic substances and peptide hormones facilitate testosterone production, which promotes muscle growth. However, prolonged usage can increase aggressiveness and a high sexual appetite, commonly known as roid rage. Peptide hormones like Erythropoietin cause blood thickening, leading to a blood clot in your brain, causing a hemorrhage
. Once you come down from these steroids, your mental health will get impacted, making you depressed and suicidal.
2. Destroys Your Kidneys
The human growth hormone has anabolic effects. You may use them to improve muscle mass and enhance performance. Prolonged usage can lead to a functional pituitary adenoma which is a tumor. This can impact your kidneys, causing them to become damaged, shooting up your blood pressure, and kidney failure. Your organ will also struggle to filter excess glucose from the bloodstream, which may cause you to have type 2 diabetes. Even using water pills like Diuretics changes your body's natural balance of fluids and salts, leading to dehydration.
3. Disrupts Sexual Characteristics
Athletes take anabolic agents to build their stamina and muscle mass. As a male, you will have a decreased level of testosterone which may develop breast tissues, shorten testes and reduce sperm count. The testosterone levels will rise as a woman, causing your voice to become deeper, your clitoris to grow more prominent, and irregular menstrual cycles.
4. Goes Into Your Liver
High doses of anabolic agents will damage your liver. You may have an elevation in enzymatic activities, leading to blood cavities in the liver. This will cause liver failure and may even cause you to have jaundice
5. Legal Ramifications for Drug Usage
For athletes, drug abuse carries a heavy penalty. You cannot possess anabolic steroids since it is a scheduled drug. Opium, morphine, and codeine also fall into this category. The federal penalties for these medications range anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. If you play at a professional level, you may face suspension from baseball and basketball and even be forced into retirement.
How Do Fun Drugs Also Contribute To Your Failing Health and Performance?
If you're a fitness buff and not an athlete, there is still a chance you may abuse drugs. These fun drugs will help you become alert, enjoy working out and facilitate weight loss. Here are some medications and their possible side effects on your body:
1. Stimulants/Uppers. These will work on your nervous system when you consume drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, ephedrine, or MDMA. You will feel powerful, have better concentration, and have a more robust metabolic rate. But, the pleasure doesn't last long. Continuous abuse leads to shortness of breath, stroke, palpitation, and anxiety. You may also become more susceptible to a heat stroke from poor thermoregulation.
2. Narcotics. Heroin, morphine, and codeine are all narcotics. These highly addictive drugs make you feel euphoric and give you an increased threshold to pain. Injecting these drugs make you feel relaxed, gives you hallucinations, and makes you more optimistic about life. However, once you stop, you will experience intense drowsiness, have collapsed veins from overuse, frequent nausea, and lack of coordination.
3. Psychedelics. These drugs are also known as hallucinogens, which change how you perceive the world, shift your mood, and slow down cognitive processes. You may start seeing and hearing things that don't exist. The heightened confidence, happiness, and even amplified senses may make you impulsive. Psychedelics like LSD and Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) make you feel invincible. Once the effect wears off, you experience a substantial loss of appetite, numbness, dizziness, and intense sweating. In extreme cases, you may even feel paranoid.
4. Dissociative. Taking Dissociative drugs causes an influx of dopamine to rush through you, making you feel high. The environment around you starts fading, and you become hyper-focused on chasing the high. There is also a chance you may become aggressive and pick fights.
Indulging in drugs as an athlete may help you improve your performance and hit countless winning streaks, but the repercussions on your health can be lethal. Enhancement drugs like anabolic steroids impact your brain, kidneys, liver, and sexual organs, which can destroy them, leading to horrific cases of organ loss. These may help you focus on getting fit but carry consequences that will also be detrimental to your health.