Steroids have long been a problem amongst college sports. The illegal substance provides an easy way for athletes to quickly build muscle that allows them to gain an edge over their opponents. However, there are many harmful impacts that come with steroids and some of them are irreversible.
College athletes turn to steroids for many reasons. Most players have dreams of making it big in their respective sport and some are willing to do anything to make that dream come true. In some cases, players feel that, without steroids, they cannot compete and, therefore, must use steroids to keep their dreams alive. This is a huge problem throughout college sports that is affecting many athletes and is hurting the integrity of sports as a whole.
Steroids pose many health risks to those who use them. The long-term damage that the substance can cause to the body is sometimes irreversible. Steroids have been linked to increased cholesterol and increased blood pressure, both of which can lead to coronary heart disease. The illegal substance can cause impaired functions of the liver and lead to tumors. If steroids are used at too early of an age, they can stunt an athletes growth by causing premature closing of cartilage-like growth plates. Also, steroids have been known to damage an athletes immune system and increase the risk of developing hepatitis B or C. If needles are being shared, the athlete runs the risk of becoming infected with HIV. Any momentary advantages steroids may produce are easily overshadowed by the long list of negative impacts they can have on the body.
Psychologically, steroids can be even more harmful. They lead to mood swings, aggressive and violent behavior, depression, addiction and even psychotic addiction. Also, if a player is caught using steroids, his or her reputation, as well as the reputation of the University and sport in which they play, can be damaged, thus ruining the integrity of the game.
In the end, steroids are a no-win situation for the athlete, for the school in which they attend and for the sport in which they play. Steroids damage a player physically and psychologically and ruin the integrity of the game. The reward is little compared to the vast number of consequences. The NCAA must continue to work to solve the problem that they are faced with and they should continue to send the message that steroids usage will, plain and simply, not be tolerated.