Things to consider before using Anabolic Steroids
I have often been accused of being pro-steroid. Unfortunately, anabolic steroids belong to a long list of subjects that our society has forbidden any kind of intelligent discussion. It’s impossible to criticize a homosexual without being labeled a homophobe. You can’t discuss the possible merits of drug legalization because you are immediately branded a radical. Why in the world would someone want to defend the use of anabolic steroids, which have been clearly demonstrated to be killer drugs and the scourge of modern athletics?
I’m considered somewhat of a steroid guru. As such, the vast majority of questions I get asked on a daily basis deal with the use of these drugs. One of the most disturbing aspects of my job is all of the emails I read from people with an interest in using steroids who have absolutely know idea of what they are getting themselves into. If I had to quantify it, I would say 9 out of 10 people who write me have no business considering the use of steroids.
I’m not concerned with the reasons why a person wants to use these drugs. Quite frankly, I’d be the biggest hypocrite on the planet if I said it were ok to use steroids for competitive bodybuilding but not to better your self-esteem. As long as these drugs are being used for the sole purpose of physique enhancement, the motivation to use steroids is the same. These drugs will take your body past a point you could ever achieve naturally. So, if I’m not concerned with why someone wants to take steroids, what does concern me? Glad you asked. Let’s begin.
A Lack of Basic Knowledge of Anabolic Steroids
I’m always amazed at the cavalier attitude many people exhibit about their steroid use. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve received an email from someone who’s just started their first cycle and wants to know how effective the drugs are. Hello? Isn’t this putting the cart before the horse? You’ve already taken your shots, swallowed the pills, and now you’re writing to me wanting to know if you’re using an effective stack? Sorry, you’re a little too late.
The Internet is an amazing tool that allows virtually unlimited research on just about every topic you can possibly think of. Obviously anyone who can send me an email also has access to the Internet. So why do I get asked asinine questions like this time and time again? At the end of this article I’ll list several free online resources where individuals can get very good, unbiased knowledge about anabolic steroids.
If you don’t have access to the Internet, there are a plethora of books available on the subject of anabolic steroids. Several that come to mind are the World Anabolic Review, the Underground Steroid Handbooks 1 & II, Performance Enhancement with an Edge, and the Anabolic Reference Guide. Any one of these publications would impart enough information to the reader that they could make an informed, educated decision about steroid use, rather than simply jumping into the fray totally blind.
Steroids are certainly not the killer drugs our government and mass media has portrayed them to be. At the same time, there can be very serious consequences, both medically and legally, with their use. I could never swallow a pill or inject myself with a drug without knowing all of the possible ramifications of doing so, yet I sometimes wonder if my attitude is representative of an ever-shrinking minority.
Anabolic Steroids are Illegal Without a Prescription
I often wonder if this fact is lost upon people who use these drugs. The brazenness I see exhibited by people about their use is quite astonishing. Steroid users tend to associate with other steroid users. Every gym tends to have its “juiceheads” that all seem to run in the same circle. The Internet provides a comfortable haven for those to choose to use anabolic steroids, there are a variety of bodybuilding boards where athletes openly discuss their use of steroids and get advice from their peers. These groups tend to perpetuate the notion that steroids are somehow viewed differently by the criminal justice system.
I must admit that most local police officers do tend to view steroid use as a victimless crime. However, if you manage to attract the attention of law enforcement at the federal level, say by having steroids imported to you, things are entirely different. Agents of the DEA, DOJ, Customs, and other federal agencies view anabolic steroids in the same dim light as most recreational drugs. Once you enter the system, you tend to find that most judges and prosecutors share this same attitude.
I’ve been through the system because of steroids, and know a lot of other people who’ve been in my same situation. Judges and prosecutors have no mercy with steroid users. Steroid users are viewed as cheaters, bullies, people who prey on the weak of society. When I was facing charges of steroid trafficking back in 1996, the judge on my case made a comment that she thought steroids were worse than heroin. Needless to say, my ass puckered a bit after hearing this. I’ve heard enough anecdotal reports from associates and readers to know that once your caught, the consequences are not pleasant.
Certainly steroid use and steroid trafficking are viewed as different ends of the same spectrum. Most steroid users busted on simple possession charges will find themselves on probation, probably having to simply pay a fine and submit to drug testing for a short period of time. Trafficking carries much harsher consequences. Here’s the catch. A lot of drugs have set amounts that clearly define what is considered personal use and what is considered dealer quantities. Steroids are not defined in such a manner. Therefore, while you may get busted with what would clearly only be enough for personal use to those with even a rudimentary knowledge of anabolic steroids, the DA probably not going to fall into this category of people. While most prosecutors are very familiar with all manner of recreational drugs, anabolic steroid cases are rarely seen in most jurisdictions.
Most public defenders or criminal defense attorneys know nothing about these drugs. So, the most knowledgeable party in the entire case is often you, the defendant. How much credibility do you think you’ll have in your attempt to prove your stash was for personal use when your supporting documentation is the World Anabolic Review or Anabolic Reference Guide? About a year ago I tried to help an associate of mine prove that his positive drug test was a result of pro-hormone use. Although I sent him to court with a plethora of scientific references proving his position, both the prosecuting attorney and judge took the position that he was attempting to dazzle them with bullshit. He’s now finishing his last months in prison as a result of his positive test due to prohormones.
Anabolic Steroids are Very Psychologically Addictive
What kind of psychobabble is this? Quite simply, once you start using steroids, you won’t want to stop. Anabolic steroids take your body to a level you can never achieve naturally, and once that line is crossed, it’s very hard to ever train clean again.
I must have weighed around 230-235 lbs when I first started using steroids. I’d been stuck at this weight for a very long time. No matter how I ate, or how hard I trained, I wasn’t breaking this natural plateau. Every athlete has a natural genetic limit as to how much muscle they can carry, even under the most optimal of conditions. Once that barrier is reached, you’re not going to progress any further naturally. Oh, I’ve seen very dedicated natural bodybuilders add 5 lbs of lean body mass in a year after having seemingly reached their full genetic potential. I’ve also seen a lot of natural bodybuilders train for years at a time with very little change in their body whatsoever. For an athlete like this, the temptation to use steroids becomes greater and greater with each passing month.
So, what happens when a natural bodybuilder like the one above decides to use steroids? He grows. In doing so, he smashes the natural barrier and his body begins to transform. Realistically, how do you ever go back to training naturally again? We can liken muscular size to crack, it’s extremely addictive. I’m certain that most of you who have already gone over to the dark side can testify to this. It starts out with a small cycle, just one to add 15-20 lbs, then you’ll quit. After you achieve your goal, you decide to do another to add a little more weight. Pretty soon this becomes a vicious cycle with no end in sight. You’ve become so desensitized to steroid use that you start taking more and more risks with your health. You initial goal of weighing a ripped 215 lbs went out the door 10 cycles ago, now you’re shooting for 300 lbs and trying to score enough cash for that gyno surgery.
Steroid Have Serious Side Effects
Let me ask you a question? Do you like having a full head of hair? I’m sure the thought of women’s breasts excite you, but what about having a set of your own? Most importantly, it is your hope to fully enjoy the golden years of your life, aging gracefully like a fine bottle of wine? These are all things you need to carefully consider before using anabolic steroids.
For the most part, most of the detrimental side effects of anabolic steroids are not life threatening. Using myself as an example, I’m completely bald because of steroid use. Now I’m fortunate in that I have a head that allows me to look attractive as a bald man, I actually prefer being bald over having hair. However, you probably don’t, especially if you’re white like me. As a general rule, white men look ridiculous bald, the only group that can successfully pull off the bald look and still look cool are African-Americans.
Most bodybuilders develop gynocomastia to one degree or another if they use steroids for long enough. If you’ve been in a cave somewhere and don’t know what this is, it’s the condition commonly referred to as “bitch-tits” in bodybuilding vernacular. Again, using myself as an example, after three years of steroid use, I had a nice pair growing. It was so bad that I couldn’t go outside without wearing a shirt, and if I wore tight clothing (and what other kind is there when you weigh a muscular 295 lbs?) I had to put tape over my nipples. I was the butt of endless jokes from my loving friends. Every time we went out to breakfast and we ordered coffee, the joke was always the same. “Hey, we don’t need any cream, we like to take ours straight from the tap.” If we were out at bars, it was always the same story. “Hey ladies, if you’re ordering a white Russian, don’t worry about the milk, Jason can take care of you.” It cost me $5,000 (ok, so I had my chest lipo’d too) and 6 weeks out of the gym in order to fix the damage caused by years of steroid abuse.
Other common side effects include testicular atrophy, acne, edema (water retention), and a host of other conditions that tend to make you less than attractive. Now, we’ve all heard from the mainstream media how these drugs are killers and how they cause an untold number of deaths every year. For the longest time, the medical community denied that steroids even worked to improve athletic performance, effectively destroying any credibility they might have in trying to educate the public as to the real dangers of these drugs. Do I think anabolic steroids are killer drugs? No. However, I know for a fact that long-term abuse of anabolic steroids will shorten your life, and probably reduce your quality of life in your senior years. Steroids have a proven negative effect on cholesterol levels. Steroids will also cause hypertension in most people. Over time, these two factors will combine to negatively affect your cardiovascular health.
It’s been proven that most young people are unable to consider the negative long-term consequences of their actions. However, before you start using steroids, that’s exactly what you need to do. Let’s face it, we’re not ever going to see people dropping dead from steroid use, and you can’t overdose on steroids like you can with most recreational drugs. Having said that, what’s your risk to benefit ratio? When you’re sixty years old and undergoing a quadruple bypass, are the rewards of your steroid use in your youth going to be worth it? I’m not saying this is definitely going to happen, but it is a realistic possibility.
I use anabolic steroids. Am I a hypocrite? After reading this article you might think so. My goal in writing this is not to scare someone into not using anabolic steroids, it’s to give them a realistic assessment of the negative consequences of doing so. We live in a drug-culture that has taught us not to trust Big Brother. I really can’t blame anyone for not trusting the government, media, or medical community when it comes to information on anabolic steroids. None of these sources has every done anything to really engender our trust. However, I think I have, and I want people to know what the possible consequences of their actions.
I’m 28. Because of anabolic steroids I’m a twice-convicted felon. I’ve suffered from a myriad of steroid-related side effects, and am probably shortening my life through my continued use of these drugs. However, I was never blindsided by any of this, I was fully aware of all of the possible negative ramifications of steroids before I ever swallowed that first pill or took my first shot. I was totally and utterly anti-drug before I began my anabolic journey. As such, I thoroughly researched every aspect of anabolic steroid use before making the decision to proceed. I think as a group, bodybuilders tend to dismiss the negative consequences of steroids as so much bullshit, giving it as much credence as the old “reefer-madness” hysteria. I think we’ve been lied to so much that it’s created an aura of distrust and cynicism makes it difficult for many of us to view the subject objectively. If you’re considering using steroids, make an informed decision. Take the time to thoroughly research all of the consequences, both good and bad. Remember, knowledge is power.
By Jason Meuller