In the recent years, issues have been raised whereby athletes are using steroids and other drugs that enhance their performance in different sports that they participate in. “Most baseball players agree that they use steroids in a widespread manner. But according to Rutecki and Gregory, most of the players stipulate that they are not guilty, unless the physical examinations are conducted on them” (Rutecki & Gregory 2010, p. 145). Moreover, there have been instances whereby several riders were dismissed from participating in Tour de France as a result of being suspected that they were using the drugs which were banned in that region. The people who are opposed to the use of steroids normally stipulate that the people who use them break the rules since the drugs usually give them an unfair advantage in games. Moreover, they stipulate that the drugs are not only harmful to their bodies but they also encourage younger generations to use them to enable them improve their performance.
However, the people who support the use of the drugs argue that it is unfair for any person to encourage consumers to seek all types of drugs that can cure their illnesses. Yet they criticize those people who use steroids to enhance their performance in games. They argue that the risks that steroids cause to athletes have been overstated (Rutecki & Gregory, 2010). In this perspective therefore, the efforts that various organizations are implementing aimed at restricting athletes from using the drugs are bound to fail. Since the issue of using steroids in sports is a complex one, various debates are being held in different locations across the world whereby some experts argue in favor of the steroids while others oppose them.
In a debate that was held on 15 January 2008, experts argued that the use of steroids should be allowed in the most competitive sports. However, 18 percent of the audience supported the motion whereas 63 percent were opposed to it. 19 percent of the audience was undecided. This debate was held at the Asia Society and Museum in New York (Cussen & Block, 2000). In this perspective therefore, it is true that the issue of accepting steroids is a complex one since there are those people who support it while other people oppose it. The goal of this paper is to discuss whether the use of steroids should be legalized or not.
The use of steroids can cause more serious side effects to the people who use them than medicaments do. However, there is no serious study which illustrates the relationships between the use of steroids and serious diseases. Most commonly prescribed drugs such as Viagra caused approximately 522 deaths in the first two years of use. Most of the deaths took place among the youngsters and those one who were aged below 65 years and who had no previous incidences of cardiac risk factors. However, despite the risks associated with the drug, it is still being sold freely to anyone and no one is taken to jail for buying it without being prescribed by a medical expert. In this perspective therefore, the use of steroids should not be regarded as a criminal offense. However, it should be legalized and controlled.
Moreover, the athletes who use them should be given full information about the harms associated with the drugs. The athletes should also be given medical counseling and sufficient information regarding the side effects associated with the drug. The reason for this statement is because millions of educated and devoted young people today use the drugs for what they believe is a legitimate way of improving their bodies. Studies show that most of the body builders and the people who participate in power sports use steroids. The coaches, sports physicians, organizers, and referees are said to have full information regarding the use of the steroids (Cussen & Block, 2000). This is true despite the various criticisms which insist on the fact that steroids are harmful and that they should be forbidden.
There is no sufficient information which illustrates the real side effects of steroids. Various websites and publications that are created with the aim of helping people reduce the use of steroids do not report any serious harm associated with steroids. “When you prohibit a substance, the black market and underworld seize the opportunity” (Schwingel, Cotrim, & Zoppi 2012, p. 1600). For example, when Alcohol was banned from consumption in the US in the early 1920s, the groups known as the American Mafia are said to have entered the American Alcoholic market whereby they produced alcoholic beverages that caused significant harm to the people who used their products. This caused more harm to the people than the harm that was caused by the legitimate drinks.
Studies reveal that most of the steroids that are used by most athletes today are often manufactured by non-legitimate laboratories. The standards of manufacturing the steroids are usually unhygienic. Moreover, the hormones contained in these steroids are considered to be of unknown quality and that they are normally smuggled from China (Schwingel, Cotrim, & Zoppi, 2012). In addition, the manufacture of these steroids is not supervised and the storage mechanisms are poor. The manufacture of the drugs is also not handled in a sterile manner. The underground manufacture of the steroids has also brought the economic consequences that are normally associated with the black market. On the other hand, drugs such as cigarettes are sold freely in the market despite concerns that they cause diseases like cancer, heart disease and that they are highly addictive.
Various sociological studies reveal that individuals who prescribe steroids on their own are more educated about the drugs than the general public (Cussen & Block, 2000). The people who are known to use steroids more often are the college students. These people are well aware of the consequences of using the drugs yet they continue using them. However, most of these people deny the chance of using the drugs under medical conditions since they cannot go about using the drugs publicly because the use of the drugs is treated as illegal. If the drugs are legalized, the manner in which people use the dangerous forms of drugs would subsidize thereby leaving people with safer types of steroids.
In fact Rutecki and Gregory state that the realistic aims are regarded as good for refraining people from participating in an activity. They underline that when the deadly affects of AIDS were noted, the idea of telling people to stop engaging in sexual intercourse was not effective as people kept engaging in sex. The idea of giving people condoms was however welcomed by many people. In this perspective, in order to counsel people using steroids in an effective manner, people should refrain from telling people about the scary stories associated with the use of steroids. Instead, they should focus on the manner in which they can give people the least harmful alternatives of using the steroids. They should also explain to them how the health of their body would deteriorate eventually once they continue using the drugs (Rutecki & Gregory, 2010).
According to Schwingel, Cotrim and Zoppy, most people who encourage other people to refrain from using steroids compare them with the people who use narcotics. Though they stipulate that this is the most ethical and moral way, it appears to be the most annoying in the eyes of the people who use steroids. However, the users of steroids and the users of narcotics are two different groups. For example, people use steroids so that they can improve themselves, become disciplined and hardworking. However, the users of narcotics are people who try to escape from the world and the problems it entails thereby demonstrating failure to cope with the world and its challenges. When the use of steroids is compared to the use of narcotics, the people using steroids star losing their confidence in medical professionals and they also refrain from attending counseling sessions. They accept these specialists as those one who misdirect them. It is therefore important for the counselors and medical professionals to devise a more realistic approach to talk to steroids’ users other than try to scare them (Schwingel, Cotrim, & Zoppi, 2012).
There are no studies which reveal that prohibiting the use of steroids decreases the number of people who use the drugs. Most of the countries where steroids are sold over the counter are said to have the same number of users compared with the regions where steroids are regarded as illegal. This is a reflection that failing to legalize the use of steroids does not limit the number of users. Instead, failing to legalize the use of the drugs only exposes people to unsafe means of obtaining the drugs thereby putting them at a higher risk of undergoing medical complications (Burge, 1994). It is therefore important to legalize the drugs so that the people who use them can gain access to professional help on how to use the drugs. Moreover, the users can be provided with the sufficient counseling regarding the use of the drugs thereby enabling them to use the drugs in safe proportions.
Most of the people who use steroids do so because they believe in a myth that it is possible to become muscular like other top bodybuilders when one engages in hard training and proper diet. However, this is not the case as there are many people who are known to start using the drugs with the hopes becoming muscular. However, they become disillusioned later when their aspirations do not come true (Burge, 1994). This failure forces them to star using steroids like other people in an uncontrollable manner. However, if most young people knew the entire truth about this myth, they would never go in for sport.
Therefore, though the use of steroids is highly criticized especially among athletes, it is still difficult to stop people from using the drugs. Preventing people from using the drugs only makes them consume the drugs using unsafe methods. The use of steroids should therefore be legalized in order to ensure that the people who use them can be identified easily thereby making it possible counselors to give proper advice to the users as well as encourage them to prescribe appropriate doses to the users.