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Why Do People Use Steroids?
One of the main reasons people give for abusing steroids is to
improve their performance in sports. Among competitive bodybuilders,
steroid abuse has been estimated to be very high. Among other
athletes, the incidence of abuse probably varies depending on the
Another reason people give for taking steroids is to increase their
muscle size and/or reduce their body fat. This group includes some
people who have a behavioral syndrome (muscle dysmorphia) in which a
person has a distorted image of his or her body. Men with this
condition think that they look small and weak, even if they are large
and muscular. Similarly, women with the syndrome think that they look
fat and flabby, even though they are actually lean and muscular.
Some people who abuse steroids to boost muscle size have
experienced physical or sexual abuse. They are trying to increase
their muscle size to protect themselves. In one series of interviews
with male weightlifters, 25 percent who abused steroids reported
memories of childhood physical or sexual abuse, compared with none who
did not abuse steroids. In a study of women weightlifters, twice as
many of those who had been raped reported using anabolic steroids
and/or another purported muscle-building drug, compared to those who
had not been raped. Moreover, almost all of those who had been raped
reported that they markedly increased their bodybuilding activities
after the attack. They believed that being bigger and stronger would
discourage further attacks because men would find them either
intimidating or unattractive.
Finally, some adolescents abuse steroids as part of a pattern of
high-risk behaviors. These adolescents also take risks such as
drinking and driving, carrying a gun, not wearing a helmet on a
motorcycle, and abusing other illicit drugs.
While conditions such as muscle dysmorphia, a history of physical
or sexual abuse, or a history of engaging in high-risk behaviors may
increase the risk of initiating or continuing steroid abuse,
researchers agree that most steroid abusers are psychologically normal
when they start abusing the drugs.
material contained on this web site (and on any sites linked from this
site) is for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to
promote or support the taking of anabolic/androgenic steroids or other
drugs. The designers and authors do not advocate, encourage or recommend
the use of anabolic/androgenic steroids or other pharmaceuticals in
sports. We emphatically disapprove of the illegal purchase and possession
of foreign and domestic prescription drugs. The descriptions and opinions
offered in this site are not medical suggestions or advice but are
generally based on speculative and subjective values. Every athlete who
contemplates taking these drugs should always first consult a licensed
physician, as their improper and unsupervised use can cause damaging side
effects. We strenuously disapprove of the administration of
pharmaceuticals to minors to better athletic performance. WE DO NOT
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