The Dangers of Performance Enhancing Drugs

We’ve all heard the stories of famous athletes who used drugs to improve their performance. How does this make you view these athletes after you learn this? Suddenly the great things they did have less of a luster. They don’t seem as great because they weren’t using their bodies to exceed—they needed drugs to do it. Of course it can still be very tempting to consider using performance enhancing drugs. After all, the benefits may seem great if no one catches you. But there are just too many reasons not to use drugs to enhance your performance in any sport:

  • They are dangerous to your health. This is definitely the number one reason you shouldn’t be using drugs, no matter which sport you play. It may seem like the drugs aren’t taking much of a toll on your health right away, but studies show that they do have an adverse effect on long term health. Aside from some of the more annoying side effects like excessive aggression or development of physical features that are more like those of the opposite sex, there is a long list of other problems they can cause, including an enlarged prostate, increased bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol levels, depression, hypertension, heart problems, and liver disease.
  • They are against the rules of most sports organizations.  There are few organizations you can play with that actually honor the use of any kind of performance enhancing drug. Of course this means that you will be kicked out of the organization if you are caught using performance enhancing drugs, and this goes even beyond the organization you are playing with now. It could taint any hope of a sports career you have.
  • Athletes who use drugs of any kind aren’t good role models for children. Children want to be inspired by someone who is doing great things.  However, when you are only able to do great things because you used drugs, then that decreases the greatness of what you did. A good role model is someone who does incredible things because of his own ability—not an ability that was created by the use of drugs.
  • You’ll never know what you can really do. Any athlete who relies on a drug to give him or her abilities can never know what their true potential is because they will always be getting some artificial help.  Just consider for a moment the way you feel when you work really hard at something and then finally accomplish it. Now take that accomplishment and raise it a bit, but add the use of performance enhancing drugs. You’ll never know if you really met your goal because the vehicle by which you did it wasn’t your true abilities.

It is never a good idea to use any kind of drugs to enhance your performance in sports.  Excelling in sports does take a lot of hard work. There is no shortcut. If you try to take a shortcut, you’ll always be wondering what life would have been like if you had truly believed in yourself.