For many years steroid use has been demonized across the globe but never more so than in the U.S. In the United States steroid use has in many ways been labeled public enemy number one and a good question to ask is why? Since 1990 the U.S. congress has passed the steroid Control Act and the amped up version again in 2004. As far as congress is concerned, as well as most of the mainstream media, steroid use has no place in American culture but is this accurate and again, why?
We are told year after year, day after day, “steroids are bad…steroids will kill you…steroids are evil” the list truly goes on and on but is there any proof; when the smoke clears is there any hard data to support these claims? Let’s look at the issue of steroid use and examine some things we absolutely do know regarding medical data and legislation:
- To pass the 1990 steroid Control Act congress called on the FDA, the AMA, the DEA and the NIDA to back the legislation; all four government agencies denied their support claiming there was no medical or legal reason to place steroid use in such a category.
- In 1996, the New England Journal of Medicine performed to date one of the more in-depth studies on steroid use in males using supraphysiologic doses of testosterone. In the study, no ill-effects on physical health or mental health were found.
- There has yet to be a death directly caused or attributed to Anabolic steroid use.
- Professional Athletes have been using anabolics since the late 1950’s and 60’s and in professional baseball and football since the 1970’s. We have yet to see a massive list of casualties.
Let’s be clear, no one is denying the fact, there are side-effects to steroid use; some of the side-effects of steroid use can be quite dramatic if the individual abuses them but the side-effect of Tylenol abuse will lead to an early death, so the side-effect argument is mute. The truth remains; the argument against legal steroid use, to this day there has yet to be an argument made that holds true validity and that is not a direct infringement on the most precious attribute of liberty each American holds dear. Granted, one could make an argument involving protecting the youth; it is absolutely true, adolescents have no reason to engage in steroid use but is this truly a valid argument? Adolescents have no business drinking or smoking, yet we do not take the right from adults. How about driving a car? Thousands of people are killed year after year on the road and no one would ever advise giving a driver’s license to a twelve year old child but does this mean you shouldn’t have one? How is steroid use any different; especially when we examine the few facts given above? There are literally hundreds of facts similar to the ones listed above; you’ve only been given a taste.
We praise professional athletes; we understand, although most do not perceive fully, steroid use is as much a part of professional sports as the ball used in the game. We worship the heroes of the silver screen; muscular ass-kicking heroes who are bigger than life; there’s a reason they look the way they do. Further and more importantly than any of the after mentioned examples, we live in a culture driven by success, driven and rewarded on the basis of performance, for this reason and this reason alone, steroid use will always be part of the American culture and a welcomed one by many.