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Anabolic Steroids

What is being done to combat Anabolic Steroids abuse?

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        Athletes and other bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids are reluctant to admit their dependence on steroids and some of them sometime commit Anabolic Steroid abuse. They have familiarity with steroids side effects, weight training, and nutritional value, but they have a lower level of awareness.

        The AAS substances are in use since the 1950s and in 1980s the trends of steroid use have increased in American athletes. Studies show that Iran also has high AAS use prevalence among youngsters and again the reason is the muscular body image and heavy bodybuilding.

Read More: How to take steroids without side effects? 

       Due to steroids popularity and high AAS use prevalence at the international level, the major countries are working to develop effective interventions for AAS's prevention among adolescents and athletes.

       Researchers are now concerned with drug abuse prohibition and cognitive factors such as social norms, knowledge, and beliefs have been evaluated as these lead to drug use intention.

      For developing the intervention, sufficient information on psychosocial factors that include attitude, behavioral control, and subjective norm that are the significant factors can be considered as these lead to adoption or rejection and can be taken for designing healthy behavior strategy.

Intervention for Steroid Prevention

        Students were observed who had higher intent and they were also using marijuana and alcohol and had aggressive attitudes. It was found that they were not focused on good nutrition, training or weight lifting or finding anabolic steroids alternative. Such students were observed having more peer influence while less parental effects.

        So, the peer and parental components could be considered to influence drugs use. These influenced athletes always accepted steroids offer, thus there was the need for training to enhance the refusal skills for these illicit substances. Curricular components and development of sports team can be considered for an educational setting where monitoring, influence, and motivation can be considered for drug use prevention to enhance the healthy behaviors.

Planned Behavior Theory

        It has been found that a larger number of youngsters’ population is using anabolic steroids and the resultant abuse and risks are the concerned matters among users. These androgenic steroids synthetic substances have the characteristics of male sex testosterone hormones that promote skeletal muscles growth and sexual characteristics.

        Planned behavior theories can be considered for research purpose and a theoretical framework to discuss predictability in explanation of AAS use among youngsters and athletes. It is all about behavioral intention, AAS use predictors’ attitudes and beliefs, subjective norms and peers influence for behavioral control measure to abstain the use of AAS substances.

AAS risk factors

      Anabolic Androgenic Steroids is associated with enhanced athletic performance, body weight, physical attractiveness, heavy muscle size, and endurance along with strength training exercises. Anabolic Steroids use risk factors include younger age, body-image negative sense, inspiration by other steroid users, and greater interest in  Steroids use to develop ideal or heroic body shape, that is really a matter of craziness!

Associated risks

         The benefits from these drugs are not alone, but also have numerous side effects that may lead to death. You may experience psychiatric and physical complications such as skin lesions, edema, cardiac problems, infertility, and many other health issues that give rise to more imperfections rather than perfections. Moreover, the use is not just simple; it requires proper doses and recovery PCT cycle. Any sort of irregularities and minor mistakes always result in negative consequences.  Moreover, AAS use brings high mood swings that trigger the use of alcoholic and other addictive drugs for the soothing purpose.

Research evidence

          In Iran, a study was conducted that was based on preventative programs for steroids-use where a peer-based intervention strategy was employed to increase knowledge and awareness about steroids side effects. It also took the components of planned behavior theory from 2008 to 2009 among bodybuilders. The largest number of participants were aged between 21 to 30 years who were using testosterone, Anadrol, Dianabol, Durabolin and Oxandrolone, Methyltestosterone, and Nandrolone considered for the intervention.

           Intervention programs brought improvements and the participants developed positive attitudes and more knowledge about side effects and behavioral control by an educational program. Educational intervention brought significant improvements in attitude and knowledge level.

          The results determined that awareness on potential side-effect strongly influenced the participants' behaviors. Resistance skills were also the components of the intervention that improved adolescents’ tolerance against drug use. The training changed the beliefs about steroid components and it was the step toward healthy behaviors.

         Numerous studies demonstrated that inappropriate beliefs and low awareness were the major reasons for such substances usage.

Prohibit steroid misuse

         It has been found that if parents and peers oppose its’ usage then they can play an important role in stopping the use or even to discontinue the persistent habit of steroids dependence.

         Only teaching about steroids’ impacts cannot convince the users and it did not approve enough to discourage the youngsters against steroids, so, always present with the balanced approach that must show both benefits and risks of steroid. Moreover, intervention program must also highlight the risky behaviors and misuse patterns for better counseling.

Steroid misuse prevention research by NIDA

            This sophisticated prevention approach has been developed for sports teams’ players of high schools to stop the drug misuse. The ATLAS program was developed for Adolescents Learning and Training to prevent drug use among football players who do not require steroids for muscles building.

       ATLAS program was focused on education and awareness about anabolic steroids impacts, and alternative modes for performance enhancement such as the use of high-value nutrition and switching to weight-training exercise for healthy behaviors. Coaches trained the players about how to refuse drugs offers. The comparison after 1 year showed minimized use of anabolic steroids and alcoholic substances. It also reduced the misuse of performance-enhancing supplements and thus it controlled the hazardous behaviors.

        The improved knowledge of hazardous drugs’ effects and alternatives and healthy nutritional behaviors were the topics of training. The focus was to improve the confidence of players in their athletic abilities.

        The other program was The ATHENA program of Athletes Targeting launched later the ATLAS program, and it was specifically developed for adolescent girls of high schools. The same positive results obtained and their dependence on drugs reduced after training.

Treatments for the anabolic steroid

        It was found that people usually use steroids while do not find appropriate treatment. A large number of users even never talk about their drug use to the physician or to their family members.  They get information from internet sites that have rich material on anabolic steroids.

        It is more challenging for physicians to be familiar with the signs of steroid use. As muscle dysmorphia requires psychological therapies, hypogonadism dysfunction requires endocrine therapies, and psychosocial and pharmacological treatments are used for alleviating the problem of steroid dependence. Misuse of anabolic steroids has serious side effects and severe consequences and addiction problems.

Anabolic steroids are illegal

       They are addiction causing and sudden withdrawal results in depression, anxiousness, insomnia, anorexia, reduces libido, extreme tiredness, headaches, and joint pain. However, you can go for the treatment, you can consult with a counselor or physician to seek advice on preventive strategies.

Facts

          Media has a major role in developing a concept of heavy body image and man figure. Different studies have demonstrated the prevalence of anabolic steroids use among gym users for a performance-enhancing purpose. That has given the question of why adolescents have been dependent on this illicit substance? Despite detrimental impacts caused by these drugs. It requires serious consideration of treatment and recovery strategies for the users.

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