How do you get steroids

Sports - Anabolic Steroids Doping: Steroids are anything but harmless

Washboard abs, big biceps, leg muscles: many athletes work hard to achieve their dream body. Despite training and discipline, the human body will eventually reach its natural limits. In order to help, some therefore resort to substances that increase endurance and performance.

Doping is by no means restricted to competitive sport. Recreational athletes are also increasingly taking performance-enhancing drugs - so-called anabolic steroids. The classics are the anabolic steroids.

Performance enhancement and muscle building: This is how anabolic steroids work

"Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone, which have a stronger and longer effect," explains Jürgen Steinacker from the University of Ulm. The artificially produced steroids lead to an increase in muscle strength and increase muscle growth, speed and endurance in training.

Anabolic steroids are mostly taken as tablets. But they can also be injected. Testosterone is also available as an ointment. Swallow a few tablets and look strong and healthy - that may sound tempting to many young athletes. Officially, however, you can only get the drugs in Germany with a prescription - and not without reason. Because the health risks of anabolic steroids are enormous.

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Risks from testosterone

The testosterone contained in anabolic steroids not only increases performance, but also promotes male gender expression. Therefore, in men who take performance-enhancing drugs, sexual activity first increases.

However, the endogenous hormones are weakened by the medication. As a result, the first side effects appear after just three to six weeks: "Many men become impotent and have to take counter-medication," warns Steinacker.

In women, the testosterone has an even stronger effect. It can lead to masculinization, says the expert. "The use of anabolic steroids then leads to beard growth, thick body hair and a deeper voice."

Side effects: pimples, aggressiveness and heart attack

Whether someone takes anabolic steroids is not clearly visible from the outside. The first signs are pimples, seductive hair loss and of course strong muscle growth.

However, the really serious side effects only show up in the long term. "What athletes often do not notice is that the consumption of anabolic steroids leads to an increased number of deaths," said Steinacker. Because drug abuse increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes sharply.

The long-term effects of taking steroids also include hyperthyroidism, changes in the skeletal and musculoskeletal system, fluid retention in the tissues, and high blood pressure. Those who consume steroids for a long time can become dependent on the medication.

Anabolic steroids can lead to social isolation

In addition to physical harm, the consumption also has an impact on the psyche: "The intake of anabolic steroids leads to aggressiveness, lower stress resistance and depression," says Steinacker.

Despite the dangerous side effects, many amateur athletes use the conduction-promoting substances to build muscle quickly. According to Steinacker, these are mainly young men between the ages of 15 and 30. "About 10 percent of this risk group take anabolic steroids," estimates the expert. In the bodybuilder scene in particular, young men try to impress women with a well-trained body and strong muscles.

In fact, consuming anabolic steroids often does the exact opposite. Those who take them become aggressive, unbalanced, and potentially addictive. “The men become obnoxious and social relationships suffer as a result,” says Steinacker. For this reason, too, he considers the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs to be a major social problem.

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Different regulations for competitive and amateur athletes

The use of anabolic steroids is not generally prohibited in Germany. "According to the sports rules, it is frowned upon for all athletes, but not punishable for everyone," said Steinacker. The following applies to competitive athletes: Anabolic steroids are on the doping list, they are prohibited according to the anti-doping law.

It's a little more complicated for amateur athletes. According to the "Employers' Association of German Fitness and Health Systems", one speaks of doping only when high-performance athletes use illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When amateur and recreational athletes consume steroids to build muscle, this is known as drug abuse.

Possession of doping substances is punishable above a certain amount

This means: For recreational athletes, the acquisition and possession of performance-enhancing drugs above a certain amount for the purpose of doping is punishable. Because most doping agents are also prescribed by a doctor for certain illnesses. With doping, however, the medication must be taken many times over in order to have an effect.

In addition to the legal regulations, sports associations can also impose sanctions against athletes who consume doping substances. Anyone caught taking anabolic steroids in competition or in preparation will be banned from competitions for at least four years, and in the event of a repeat offense even for life.

Sale on the net and in gyms

The trade in anabolic steroids is generally prohibited in Germany. In Germany, it is considered a violation of the Medicines Act and is punishable by imprisonment of up to ten years. In Germany, anabolic steroids are subject to the Medicines Act as drugs and therefore require a doctor's prescription.

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Even if the sale of performance-enhancing drugs is illegal, these are no longer only offered on the Darknet. Instead, the substances can be ordered on the Internet. “As with drugs, there are also organized doping rings,” says Jürgen Steinacker. Dealers usually get the goods abroad and then manufacture them in underground laboratories. Because testosterone is very expensive, many athletes buy the cheap drugs without knowing what exactly they contain.

More and more often, the dealers are also offering steroids in gyms. "Young men in the gym are ideal customers and are hit on by the dealers in the studio," says the expert. The men are often insecure and therefore particularly susceptible to the promise of a muscular dream body.

From RND / lzi