Performance Enhancing Drug Testing
Steroids - it’s an important area of concern for professional sports organizations, schools, athletes and others. Performance-enhancing drugs (or PEDs) have the ability or potential to drastically alter the human body and biological functions, including the ability to considerably improve athletic performance in certain instances. These drugs, however, can be extremely dangerous and, in certain situations, deadly.
Under federal law, steroids are classified as Schedule III in the U.S. Androgenic-anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs are also banned by major, amateur and professional sports. Use is not limited to body builders and professional athletes.
Anabolic steroids is the name for synthetic substances related to the male sex hormones (e.g., testosterone). They promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects) in both males and females. Some common names for anabolic steroids are Gear, Juice, Roids, and Stackers. Anabolic refers to muscle-building.
Anabolic steroid abuse is dangerous and can cause side effects. When used inappropriately they can cause a host of severe, long-lasting, and in some cases, irreversible negative health consequences. Anabolic steroids can lead to early heart attacks, strokes, liver tumors, kidney failure, and serious psychiatric problems. In addition, because steroids are often injected, users who share needles or use nonsterile techniques when they inject steroids are at risk for contracting dangerous infections, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C.
There are behavioral effects that anabolic steroids that include increase irritability and aggression. Research also indicates that some users might turn to other drugs to alleviate some of the negative effects of anabolic steroids.
Drug Testing for Steroids
At US Drug Test Centers we offer steroid testing for individuals, athletes and in some cases for workplace where physical strength and performance are critical in daily tasks in jobs such as security, law enforcement and warehousing. Our comprehensive steroid testing panels screen for performance-enhancing drugs that include anabolic steroids, stimulants, narcotics, beta-blockers and diuretics that may be abused by athletes. Urinalysis is by far the most reliable testing method and most often utilized. The amount of time an anabolic steroid or drug remains detectable in one’s system is the longest in an individual’s urine, especially in the case of the metabolites of that compound.
Some of the most common anabolic steroids taken todayare: anadrol, oxandrin, dianabol, winstrol, deca-durabolin, and equipoise.
Steroids can stay in the body for 14 to 28 days, and can be detected through heightened levels of testosterones and steroid metabolites in the user’s body. Urinalysis is the common method used to detect the presence of steroids in the body. Most of the steroid drug tests are expensive and there are a variety of substances that can be tested. The cost of testing for professional athletes can be very expensive.
The testing panels for steroids may include testing for anabolic, diuretics, stimulants and narcotics. Our testing panels are as follows:
- Sports 1 Expanded
- Anabolic Steroids & Diuretics
- Anabolic Steroids & Diuretics & SAP 5
- Anabolic Steroids & Diuretics & SAP 10
- Sports V Expanded (NCAA Profile)
Steroid Use in High Schools
Through the media steroid use is growing. Many major league baseball players have abused steroids adding to its glamour. Barry Bonds’ name will forever be marked with an asterisk because of his connection to steroids. Alex Rodriguez faced a 200-game suspension. In July 2013, Ryan Braun faced a 65-game suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs. High school athletes sometimes face tremendous pressure to perform.
With the high expectations of some sports programs, athletes will sometimes turn to steroids to quickly gain an edge in their sport. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids website states that about one in 20 teenagers have used steroids to increase their muscle mass. A study of 2800 students found that most of the students had engaged in at least one muscle-building activity in the previous year. Up to one-third used what researchers considered unhealthy ways to increase their muscle mass, such as taking steroids or other muscle-building substances, or drinking too many protein shakes or engaging in excessive weight-lifting.
Only about 20% of U.S. high schools drug test their athletes. If you suspect your teen has been using steroids, begin by talking to them. Their health, education and future depend on your patience and understanding. If you cannot get through to your child by your own efforts, then you may want to talk to your teen’s coach and guidance counselor. Depending upon the severity of the issue, a teen drug rehab program may be necessary.
When it comes to performance-enhancing drugs, the National Institute for Drug Abuse warns that “simply teaching students about steroids’ adverse effects does not convince adolescents that they can be adversely affected.” Instead, it recommends a balanced approach that discusses both the benefits and detriments of the drugs.
Steroid Use in Law Enforcement
Anabolic steroid abuse, once viewed as a problem strictly associated with body builders, fitness buffs and professional athletes; is present also in the law enforcement community. Also, individuals in occupations requiring enhanced physical strength (body guards, construction workers, and law enforcement officers) are known to take these drugs.
The most important aspect to curtailing abuse is education concerning dangerous and harmful side effects, and symptoms of abuse. Law enforcement officers must understand they can perform their jobs and have a great body without steroids. They should focus on getting proper diet, rest, and good overall mental and physical health.
Is Steroid Abuse a Big Problem?
In today’s society people are willing to take great risk to excel in sports and perform their jobs better. Also, we live in a society where image is paramount to some people. Therefore, the popularity of performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids and anabolic steroid substitute products are the choice of some people to achieve these goals. Steroid abuse is still a problem despite the illegality of the drug and the banning of steroids by various sports authorities and sports governing bodies.
Yes, steroid abuse is a big problem. Call US Drug Test Centers if you need to set up steroid testing at any of our centers nationwide. Our consultants can work with your organization to develop an effective steroid testing program.