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Steroids: the good, the bad and the ugly

Special to The Prospector

Steroids are known as one of the most controversial drug enhancements in America. Medically, corticosteroids are often prescribed to fight off a disease. However, athletes and fitness gurus use anabolic steroids to bulk up and get bigger.

The steroids used by athletes and body builders are synthetic forms of testosterone that people use it to enhance their appearance, their physicality and performance.

Although they do not create a euphoric reaction, steroids can become addictive over time, according to Other than muscle growth, studies have found short-term side effects to be acne, mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, decreased appetite and decreased sperm count. The long term effects from the enhancing drugs are changes to the brain over time, such as anger, paranoia, delusions, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, tumors in the liver and blood-borne diseases.

Dr. Edward Craig, a doctor in New York who specializes in sports medicine, told MSNBC that the effects of anabolic steroids on a younger body is much more harmful than trained, professional athletes or body-builders.

“Steroid use in young people whose bodies are developing is very different from mature, professional athletes,” Craig said. “Although use in both groups is a big problem, the issues are much more significant and potentially catastrophic for younger players.”

He went on to say that the side affects are more harmful to the body than most people think.

“Nearly 30 percent of steroid users experience adverse effects, only some of which are reversible when the drug is stopped,” he said. “The side effects include acne, testicular atrophy, breast enlargement in males (gynecomastia) and hirsutism (excess facial hair). More serious reactions have been linked with steroids, such as suicidal behavior, heart attacks and liver damage.”

A UTEP student who chose not to put his name on record due to the illegal methods of obtaining the drug, explains the good and the bad that he has experienced while taking a cycle of steroids.

Explain your daily routine

I would have to inject twice a week—once in the morning on Monday and once on Thursday. I would wake up, eat and inject the vile. When I got them, I had to make sure I got the right size needle. It’s really long and it hurts. I only did one eight-week cycle and the stuff I got was super clean. It was a bunch of stuff that gave off testosterone.

How does shooting up feel?

Everyone would tell me that it took a while to feel it, but not for me. You could feel it right away. You were on edge. My brother said it was psychological, but it would make me rip through my workout. Every day I miss it because you perfectly recover after each workout. You don’t need things like protein. You have to make sure to do it before you work out though. Once I shot up and waited four hours to work out and it was such a bad feeling. I was on edge the whole time.

How did you cope with everything?

Smoking would honestly calm me down. I would smoke a lot, but even that wouldn’t do everything. I taught myself how to inject and that was the scariest part. After the first time, you get used to it. The thing people don’t realize about steroids is the fact that it’s not just about the cycle when you take it; it’s about the post-cycle afterward. The post-cycle will determine whether or not you maintain your body and whether or not you gain a lot of fat. You have to drink a gallon of water every day too.

How was working out?

Sometimes, actually most of the times, you want to keep working out. I could do three WOD’s (workout of the day) back-to-back-to-back without getting tired. You could push your body to whatever you couldn’t before. I would have to basically make myself stop working out because my body would eventually give out.

Did the side effects hinder you?

No, it was the needles that frightened me. I was more willing to take the pills, but the pills have even worse side effects, like liver damage. You also have to take a lot of different pills with steroid pills to keep your body in check.

What else did it enhance?

My sexual activity. Sex was so much better. I was sexually active every day. I could get finished and be ready to go in 10 minutes. But the worst part is that you’re tense the majority of the time.

What advice would you give someone who is going to try this?

You really have to know what you’re getting yourself into. This isn’t just a supplement; it’s a lifestyle. You have to make sure to work out each day. You also have to eat properly. Once I thought I deserved wings so I cheated and ate them, but it was a bad idea. They didn’t do well in my stomach and went out terribly. You can’t take it while being fat. You have to take it already with a fitness mentality and that it will make you better.

Did you ever feel out of control with your body?

Sometimes with my anger. You want to control it and not get so angry, but you can’t. That’s why I would smoke a lot. The worst anger path I had was one day I came home and everything was pissing me off, so I punched a hole through the tile bathroom floor. Other things you had to be aware of is your immune system is very weak, so getting sick is very possible. Also, you need a lot of sleep every night.

What type of steroids did you take?

My steroids were called the triple blend cut. It had three different things that made you lean while giving you testosterone.

Where did you get them?

El Paso is probably one of the best cities to get steroids. Where we pay $120 for a cycle, someone in Dallas could pay three to four times that. And it’s because we get them from Mexico. When people tell me they got it from somewhere else, I don’t believe them because if it’s in El Paso, it’s definitely from Mexico.

Would you do it again?

Yes, I would, but I would rather do HGH (Human Growth Hormone) because you gain so much. That’s what people use in football at the younger stages. I would do that because there’s less side effects. I mean parents give high schoolers HGH to get bigger.

What’s the most common misconception when it comes to steroids?

That they’re bad. They’re only bad if you abuse them and don’t use them correctly. They make you learn a lot about your body. They’re better because there are a thousands of things out there that aren’t quite regulated.

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About the Contributors
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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    Jeff JergenmeijerApr 21, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    Might be the dumbest article to date. There are no side effects

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Steroids: the good, the bad and the ugly