Anabolic steroids are always in the news it seems as a source of “danger” and threat to our kids. In fact, it is the opinion of the author (backed by some well researched studies) that the current criminalization of anabolic steroids makes them more available and attractive to children and a threat to every freedom loving adult who feels his or her body is his or her business.
Anabolic steroids were not really an issue until the late 80’s when a popular Olympian got caught cheating and using a steroid called Winstrol to break a world record. After that, they’ve been through the ringer, being everything from the “wink wink” don’t ask, don’t tell policy of Major League Baseball to the absolute villain implicated in the deaths of professional wrestler, Chris Benoit and his family. In fact, steroids like anything foreign to the body have pluses and minuses that must be respected, these are indeed potent drugs that do build muscle and may alter mood. However, like everything in life, they have numerous health benefits and psychological benefits.
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Let’s discuss the Chris Benoit situation for a second. Ok, Chris was on anabolic steroids when he killed his family and of course that is tragic. It certainly didn’t help that Chris was on these substances, but are steroids the only criminal in this case? What about the numerous blows to the head experienced by professional wrestlers. Additionally, in Chris’s system were Xanax and hydrocodone along with alcohol. That’s quite a cocktail, yet we don’t see calls for the widespread ban on Xanax, Vicodin or alcohol nor the demonetization of these prescription drugs, yet Chris’s name is synonymous with “anabolic steroids” not a dangerous cocktail that includes prescriptions that are at the core of many crimes and addictions in society.
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Even if you don’t agree that Xanax, alcohol and Vicoden were responsible for the Benoit tragedy, you may be interested in some of the facts behind steroid use. Most people who use steroids are in their late 20’s to early 40’s and are college educated. They simply want the psychological and physical benefits that looking and feeling better offers. Steroid criminalization was opposed originally by the American Medical Association (AMA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), since they felt that these compounds could easily be controlled by proper prescriptions. In countries where anabolic steroids carry no penalty for possession, we see no widespread issues, use or problems. From a purely economic stance, wasting resources on prosecuting steroid users and dealers is a waste of public funds. Finally, it is a well proven fact that when drugs are decriminalized, use goes down.
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“Protecting our children” is a common cry from law enforcement and other entities who are self served by the criminalization of anabolic steroids and other non-addictive drugs. Yet it is just the opposite, decriminalization that makes this a reality. Children in 2010 can actually benefit from supervised anabolic steroid use. Today’s teens are obese, mentally unstable and endangering their health. Children who are not natural athletes tend to gravitate to activities that are more sedentary, like video games. These youth are also often depressed, anti-social and have mental issues relating to their interaction with the opposite sex. If supervised anabolic steroid use could be studied, instead of feared by mainstream doctors, we might in fact head off numerous mental and physical conditions suffered by today’s youth.
Fat children are condemned to a second class role and studies have shown that fat children are subject to these mentally destructive issues:
* Obese children are picked on more than kids with a physical disability or physical disfigurement
* Overweight teens have fewer friends
* This excessive teasing leads to a much lower self image
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Psychologist Rebecca Puhl, PhD was quoted as saying
“One of the most alarming things we’re seeing is a lot of self-acceptance of these stereotypes, and that leads to internalization,” Puhl says. “Not only do obese kids feel badly about themselves, but the more they feel they’re to blame for their obesity, the worse they feel overall.”
Anabolic steroids can be prescribed by a doctor to help obese kids have the same advantages that their “genetically gifted” peers do, yet at this point any doctor that prescribed anabolic steroids would be committing career suicide and would be in jeopardy of losing their license.
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It’s the author’s opinion if you truly cared about kids, society would decriminalize and de-stigmatize anabolic steroids and allow doctors to safely and appropriately give these to kids who need them. Obesity is a downward spiral, where kids shy away from sports and physical activities because they are not good at them and they become less likely to be good at them because they shy away from them. Save our kids, decriminalize anabolic steroids and allow proper research to dictate policy and leave the decision with the people that count, the doctors!