Steroid Substance Abuse in United Kingdom
Although the use and abuse of illegal drugs poses as a serious threat to the health of people as well as the society in the United Kingdom, steroid use is fast rising as yet another serious problem the country has to contend with. Although steroids have been branded as a controlled substance in the UK as far back as 1996, this hasn’t stopped many different people, including athletes and celebrities, to abuse them, despite the many negative effects of steroids.
What is more alarming to note is that image-conscious teens and young adults are now turning to steroid use to help them build bigger bodies and excel in sports. A report published by Metro in 2009 revealed that the use of steroids in boys as young as 11 to 15 doubled between 2001 and 2006. Even warnings about steroid side effects doesn’t seem to have scared young people into trying this illegal substance.
A History of Steroid Use and Abuse
Steroid use among athletes started in the 1940s (following the synthesis of testosterone during the 1930s). Since it was not regulated nor clearly understood at that time, the Russian weightlifting team was able to win a number of medals at the 1952 Olympics, partly due to their steroid use. Naturally, the United States did not want to be left out of the picture, so by the late 1950s, it was reported that a US-based pharmaceutical firm started development of anabolic steroids. Soon, other countries followed suit.
But while these anabolic steroids can help build mass and maybe even enhance an athlete’s performance, there are many negative steroid side effects that can harm the health of a user. Steroids can disrupt the way your body naturally produces hormones, thereby instigating several adverse side effects, such as the shrinking of testicles, breast development and baldness in men. It may also cause heart problems and even liver cancer.
But despite all these threats, there is still a rise in the percentage of steroid abusers all over the world. In the United Kingdom alone, various reports alarmingly show the increasing abuse and use of steroids all over the country through the years. Studies reveal that seven out of 10 men who use heavy weightlifting equipment regularly use steroids.
Steroid Use and Abuse by UK Stars
Steroids have always been known as a vanity drug—people use them to look good and to perform better. It’s not surprising, therefore, that many star athletes and celebrities in the UK have fallen prey to steroid use.
British track athlete /sprinter and reigning European 100m champion, Dwain Chambers, was banned from competition for two years because he tested positive for the anabolic steroid THG. Decades before this hoopla, however, various athletes have already been caught cheating by using illegal steroids. Another well-known UK sprinter, Linford Christie, was found guilty in 1999 of using Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid similar to the male growth hormone. Reports state that steroid tests show that his body contained 100 times the normal amount of the substance! Another track star, Scottish sprinter Doughie Walker, was banned from the UK tracks for two years because he was under suspicion of taking Nandrolone 1998. Likewise, another British sprinter and 400m silver medalist Mark Richardson, tested positive for Nandrolone in 2000. He was also served a two-year suspension.
Steroid use isn’t only limited to the tracks. Ordinary people been lured by the promises of performance and body enhancement from anabolic steroids as well. A British Crime Survey done in 2007 revealed that there are more than 42,000 anabolic steroids users in the UK, including teens as young as 16. Since various websites offer to ship these steroids to the UK, many people are given easier access to these substances.
Many people all over the world will always be in search of the perfect body. But while steroid use may claim to be able to help give you just that, it’s always wise to pave the path towards a better body the natural and healthier way. After all, sometimes, the best stuff in life are those things that you work hard for.
This Article is written by Lena Butler, contributor of Health & Drug Testing Information Center.