DREXEL PSY 310 - Performance-Enhancing Drugs (5 pages)

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Performance-Enhancing Drugs



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Performance-Enhancing Drugs

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5
School:
Drexel University
Course:
Psy 310 - Drugs & Human Behavior
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Performance Enhancing Drugs Concerns about Drug Use by Athletes Reasons for concern include Athletes are role models for young people Drugs may provide an unfair advantage during competition Athletes at all levels of ability may risk their health or lives by taking drugs History Ancient Times Early products May not have provided any true physical performance enhancement Probably had only a placebo value Ancient Greek Olympians and Aztec athletes used plant based stimulants Athletic competitions probably developed in tribal societies as a means of training for war or hunting Drugs were also often used for these activities Early Use of Stimulants Strychnine At low doses a CNS stimulant Higher doses may lead to convulsions and death 1904 Olympic marathon winner used brandy and strychnine Despite associated dangers some use of strychnine may have continued into the 1960s Cocaine Available beginning in the 1800s Mariani s coca wine was used by the French cycling team Athletes later used pure cocaine Caffeine Many athletes used coffee and or pure caffeine History Amphetamines Potential benefits over other stimulants More potent than caffeine Safer than strychnine Seemed to be the ideal ergogenic drug Probably in use by athletes soon after they were introduced in the 1930s Many early reports of the use by boxers cyclists and soccer players Examples of adverse events 1950s Olympics Many reports of amphetamine use a few deaths 1960 Olympics One cyclist died several others hospitalized due to amphetamine use International Drug Testing 1960s Some sports began testing athletes but problems continued Example cyclist died during 1967 Tour de France o Amphetamines found in his system 1968 International Olympic Committee established rules to disqualify any athlete who used banned drugs or refused to be tested Scope of testing at the Olympics has continued to expand over time American Football 1960s Many football players used amphetamines during games Attitudes toward amphetamines changed 1971 NFL banned the distribution of amphetamines by team officials Initially no testing of players who could still obtain the drug on their own Current NFL policy restricts all use of amphetamines and many other drugs History Steroids Testosterone was used for weight gain in malnourished people Soviets began to use testosterone to build up athletes in the 1950s 1960s Many U S athletes used steroids Weight lifters and bodybuilders Track and field athletes 1970s Testing in athletic events began The BALCO Scandal Rumors of steroid use by certain professional baseball players June 2003 Evidence surfaced that athletes were using tetrahydrogestrinone Previously unknown steroid that did not show up in tests developed by the U S Anti Doping Agency BALCO Laboratories founder Victor Conte was implicated Along with a number of professional athletes from several different sports The Battle Over Testing 1980s Reports of drug use among athletes grew Most sports organizations adopted stricter testing guidelines Longer lists of banned substances Despite extensive and expensive tests use of performance enhancing substances continues There is ongoing development of new drugs and strategies to help athletes avoid detection Performance Enhancers Types of drugs used as performance enhancers include Stimulants Steroids Human growth hormone Beta 2 agonists Creatine Stimulants Are stimulants effective Amphetamines Studies indicate that most athletes perform better But the improvement is small At high levels of competition small improvements can make a big difference Underlying mechanism of improvement is unclear Increased physical ability increased strength masking of fatigue Effects on the brain increased confidence winning attitude Caffeine Improves endurance under laboratory conditions May not be effective under certain conditions May need large amounts of caffeine Ephedrine On Olympic and NCAA lists of banned substances Professional sports organizations were slower to ban it o Example Major League Baseball o 2003 Death of pitcher Steve Bechler in 2003 was attributed to ephedrine related heat stroke Steroids The male sex hormone testosterone has two type of effects Androgenic effects masculinizing o Growth of the penis and other male sex glands o Deepening of the voice o Increased facial hair Anabolic effects tissue building o Increased muscle mass o Control of the distribution of body fat o Increased protein synthesis o Increased calcium in the bones Synthetic anabolic steroids have fewer androgenic effects Are steroids effective Research findings Animal studies Synthetic anabolic steroids build muscle in castrated animals Laboratory research on healthy men o Steroids can produce small increases in lean muscle mass and muscular strength o No evidence for increase in aerobic capacity or endurance Unclear if giving anabolic steroids to males who have normal testosterone levels will have a significant effect Research Issues Difficult to extrapolate laboratory findings to athletes Athletes may use much higher doses Athletes may use combinations of steroids stacking Psychological effects of steroids may affect results Users report that they feel stronger and can thus work harder Possible active placebo effect Psychological Effects Anecdotally steroids produce a stimulant like high and increased aggressiveness May allow for more work done during training and increased intensity of effort during competition Concerns about high dose use Psychological dependence resulting in mood swings and depression when users don t take the drugs Interference with social relationships and other areas of life Roid rage o Stories may be exaggerated o But there are many reports of violent feelings and actions among steroid users that raise concern Adverse Effects Risks for young users Premature closure of the growth plates of the long bones Risks for men Atrophy of the testes breast enlargement Risks for women Decreased breast size enlargement of the clitoris increased facial hair deepening of the voice Risks for all users Peliosis hepatitis Bloody liver cysts Changes in blood lipid levels that may contribute to atherosclerosis high blood pressure and heart disease Regulations Issues leading to regulation Large black market for the drugs Concerns about use among adolescent boys even non athletes Anabolic steroids are listed on Schedule III Limited prescription refills More record keeping Human Growth Hormone HGH pituitary hormone can potentially increase


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