Performance Enhancing Drugs
Performance-enhancing drugs are used by students who want to enhance their appearance or improve their athletic performance.
Athletes looking for a quick way to improve their performance or increase muscle mass may use a class of performance-enhancing drugs called anabolic steroids. Even non-athlete students who want to appear more muscular are using steroids to improve their appearance. However, using steroids non-medically is illegal, with buyers purchasing the drugs from clandestine laboratories or on the black market. Anabolic steroids also may have radical physical and psychological consequences. From drastic mood swings to an increased risk of contracting HIV, steroids’ negative effects far outweigh any positive physical results users may perceive.
Students are also abusing performance-enhancing drugs such as herbal supplements and energy drinks. Students looking to lose weight, improve their stamina, or increase muscle mass may turn to these “all natural” substances to aid their efforts. Despite their classification as herbal drugs, these supplements may be harmful – even deadly – to users. Ephedra, a common ingredient in over-the-counter diet aids and energy drinks, has been linked to high-profile deaths on college and university campuses. College and university administrators, faculty, and coaches should be aware of the potential for abuse of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes and other students. Working with the campus as a whole, administrators can foster an environment on campus in which use of these drugs to lose weight or improve athletic performance is discouraged.
Sold as an over-the-counter diet aid, Ephedra has been linked to health complications, including death, in users.
Abused by athletes to build muscle and improve performance, steroids have dangerous and often-permanent side effects.