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America Loves Steroids

Every sports federation on earth has banned steroid use. In the U.S., there are federal and state laws against their importation, manufacturing, sale, and distribution, with penalties as high as 30 years in prison. Despite all that, the use of anabolic steroids is still on the rise.

This growth in their use isn’t just limited to elite athletes who consider these drugs just as vital to their performance enhancement as protein and omega-3’s, but also among a rather broad swath of our culture. Amateur athletes have embraced them, as well as the regular gym dude who just wants to look good. Aging men covet them to fight off the effects of aging and teens use them to bolster up self esteem, despite all society has done to expose their alleged evils.

Clearly, statistics show that we’re increasingly not just saying “no” to these drugs.

In his 1993 book, “Anabolic Steroids In Sport And Exercise,” Dr. Charles Yesalis, professor of health and human development at Penn State University and a renowned expert on steroids, speculated that 1.2 million American adults purportedly used steroids.

I suspect that the number has mushroomed to somewhere between 12 and 15 million. As evidence, consider how big a role the internet has played with its gigantic network of forums and discussion boards covering every drug.

Look too at the ever-expanding network of domestic underground labs; the proliferation of anti-aging clinics and doctors willing to prescribe testosterone to treat low T in men; the growth in population, the role of social media, and the millions who follow outrageous drug user/celebrities and noted steroid gurus all over cyberspace and you might think my number conservative.

The prevailing attitude regarding the legality of steroids among the bodybuilderatti is of course as blasé as a 70’s rocker lighting up a joint at an AC/DC concert, but familiarity of steroids has gone far beyond that. They’ve become a household word and infiltrated American culture to the degree that the description “on steroids” is now permanently etched in the lexicon. It’s used to soup-up many a mainstream advertising campaign and even to describe fierce tropical storms.

Greg Valentino said it best in the “Bigger Stronger Faster” documentary: “Steroids are as American as apple pie.”

by John Romano at T Nation

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