In medical settings, they can be used to treat muscle loss and delay the onset of puberty. Anabolic steroids can affect sex hormone production in men, resulting in shrunken testicles, infertility, gynecomastia, and prostate enlargement. In women, they will begin to develop ‘manly’ features such as baldness, more body hair, and a bigger clitoris. Finally, some scientists believe that environmental factors not related to drugs or alcohol may play a role in sudden deaths among athletes. These factors include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illness, and heart problems caused by intense exercise without sufficient rest.

  • If we wanted to create an environment that was truly fair, then we would need to ban training and coaching altogether.
  • The NBA, NHL, NCAA, and all other professional leagues do not require pre-employment testing.
  • Reduced Athletic Abilities
    While PEDs are created to enhance athletics, they can actually decrease the athletic performance of a person.

It serves as a deterrent for performance-enhancing drug use, ensuring that all athletes adhere to the same rules and regulations. Athletes don’t only turn to drugs as a way to up their game in their sport of choice. The stress of competition, in combination with a culture where “work hard, play hard” includes getting heavily intoxicated, can quickly lead to addiction to any drug use in sports number of recreational drugs, including alcohol. The percentage of athletes who use drugs is not an easy number to pin down, especially among professional teams. However, significant research on high school and college athletes shows the problem is widespread. This list is only a partial look at the potential side effects that can accompany the use of anabolic steroids.

How Prevalent is Drug Use in Sports?

Competition is not impacted by the use of performance enhancing substances. The nature of humanity creates unfair competition at times without the use of drugs or hormones. If we wanted to create an environment that was truly fair, then we would need to ban training and coaching altogether. People who train harder will always go further than those who choose not to train at all.

drug use in sports pros and cons

In combination with everyday responsibilities like childcare, school, or work, the resulting stress can lead athletes to try various substances attempting to increase their performance or reduce their response to stressors. It is important for athletes who use drugs in sports to seek help as soon as possible, as a drug test for athletes is a regular occurrence, and one random test could severely affect their reputation. The danger here is that an athlete may not want to wait several weeks, or even months, to get back to their sport.

Cognitive Enhancing Drugs in Sport: Current and Future Concerns

Performance enhancing drugs give the human body a short dose of medicine that allows people to work out harder, faster, and longer while reducing their risks of suffering an injury. Whether it is applied through a cream, an injection, or pills, athletes can use these items for short periods, and then stop the cycle to allow their bodies to recover. Although this action does come with a risk to their health, that choice should be theirs to make instead of dictated by someone else. Patients who are deliberately using performance-enhancing drugs may not disclose use because of shame, legality concerns, or lack of trust. In fact, users of performance-enhancing drugs often are not candid with their physicians about their use of these drugs. Some of the most famous sportspeople to be banned for taking drugs were in fact taking something innocent like cough medicine without realizing it contained a controlled substance.

drug use in sports pros and cons