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Anabolic steroids are the quickest known way for male athletes to improve their bodies and excel in sports but not necessarily the safest The Encyclopedia of Drugs and Alcohol defines anabolic steroids as the synthetic versions of the naturally occurring male sex hormone testosterone they are properly called anabolic-androgen steroids because they have both body building anabolic and masculinizing androgenic effects Anabolic steroids have been around for many years dating back to the 1930s where they were primarily used to treat hypogonadism a condition in which the testicles do not produce enough testosterone for normal growth development and sexual functioning Shortly after their discovery people began abusing them In World War II for example German troops were given anabolic steroids to improve muscle strength as well as increasing aggressiveness to fight at war Wadler and Hainline The first abuse of steroids in sports did not occur until the 1950s when Russian athletes began taking steroids to increase weight and strength The Russians use of anabolic steroids led to the development of anabolic steroids in the United States Steroids have come a long way since then They now serve an important role in assisting patients with many medical conditions They are often given to patients with abnormally low amounts of testosterone such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence as well as treating people with AIDS and other diseases that waste away their bodies NIDA In the United States anabolic steroids are available legally but they require a prescription Too frequently teenage male athletes use anabolic steroids to improve their bodies for certain sports however they completely disregard the obvious short term and long term effects that are associated with the steroids From past high school experiences I have seen the effects of steroids first hand All of the male athletes that used steroids only had one reason to take them which was to get an advantage over their opponents whether they were playing on
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