Athletes, whether they are young or old, professional or amateur, are always looking to gain an advantage over their opponents. The desire for an "edge" exists in all sports, at all levels of play. Successful athletes rely on practice and hard work to increase their skill, speed, power, and ability. However, some athletes resort to drugs to improve their performance on the field or the court. The purpose of this paper is to provide a more accurate knowledge of steroids. Steroids are a common drug that help to build muscle tissue and increase body mass by acting like the body's natural male hormone, testosterone. [Steroids: Play Safe, Play Fair, 2002, (8:1)] Steroids are used in many different sports, but they are particularly found in football, wrestling, and powerlifting. The reason steroids are primarily found in these sports is a result of the brute strength attained by using them, which becomes very beneficial in such physically dominant sports. The most alarming fact about steroids is the many risks involved. These risks can range from something as minor as acne to consequences as major as heart attacks. It is important for all athletes and non athletes to understand what steroids are, how and why they were developed, the different types, their purpose, who they affect and how, and also alternatives to the drug.
Many may have heard steroids referred to as roids, juice, hype, or pump. Anabolic steroids are powerful drugs many people take in high doses to boost athletic performances. Anabolic means "building body tissue." Lower doses of anabolic steroids sometimes are used to treat a handful of very serious medical conditions. They should not be confused with corticosteroids, which are used to treat common medical conditions such as asthma and arthritis. Corticosteroids are strong medications, but do not have muscle building effects. Anabolic steroids are the drugs abused by athletes and others who want to become bigger and stronger without the time and effort.