Testosterone is a well known anabolic steroid and has, of late, gained notoriety due to repeated incidents of its misuse by many athletes and sportsmen. The result is an undeserved fame that testosterone has earned as a drug of bad repute. Testosterone is no doubt, a powerful drug that helps build bone and muscle mass and strength. This has lead to a large grey market for this drug, resulting in unscrupulous so called “chemists”, marketing various forms of the drug, some of which may be more of a placebo – a pure fake. Often, it is not possible to spot the real from the counterfeit product. This problem has been enhanced by the advent of the internet, making both buyer and seller almost anonymous and untraceable.
Dangers of Misuse in Young People
The current culture, especially in advanced countries, encourages sportsmen and athletes to win at any cost with fabulous fame and fortune awaiting the victors! The result is not just adults but teenagers who venture to use this drug to enhance their athletic performance. Unfortunately the effect is a stunting of growth due to premature fusion of the epiphyses of long bones. The tips of the bones of the limbs become coated with growing bone. Use of testosterone and such substances causes these growing ends of the bones to prematurely stop increasing in length.
Dangers of Using Multiple Drugs and High Doses
Many so called budding athletes use extremely high doses of anabolic steroids (variants of testosterone) resulting in a range of adverse effects. The danger is multiplied by the use of a combination of potent variants of the drug. Among the adverse effects of testosterone are those on the heart, liver and kidney, whose functioning can be seriously impaired.
Effects on the Mind and Mental Stability
Among the many complications of self use of testosterone are the significant effects on mood and the mind. These drugs cause considerable anti-depressant effects and mood elevation which can sometimes be alarming. They also produce paranoid reactions in many users.
Testosterone and Aggressive Behavior
Among the most alarming findings in self prescribed users of testosterone is that of aggressive behavior. Multiple studies have confirmed a tendency for extreme aggressiveness in those using high doses of this steroid. Along with this is the tendency of users to get addicted to the drug. Research surveys indicate that testosterone has a very strong addictive potential for long term users with higher doses needed to maintain psychic well-being. Indeed the tendency for adverse withdrawal effects on stopping the drug is also well documented.
The situation is now so alarming, that many countries, the USA among them, have withdrawn their use on the open market, with severe use restrictions. More regulation and close monitoring of the use and sale of testosterone and related anabolic steroids is mandatory if this growing problem is to be contained. Doctors and medical personnel too have to be involved in preventing the abuse of this powerful tool from within the healthcare system.
For more information see: Testosterone
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