In the world of sports, athletes put great effort into becoming bigger, stronger and faster to gain whatever advantage they can. Various training techniques and diets have been developed over the years to reach these goals.

However, the use of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) has become an issue; not only for professional athletes but also for young people looking to gain an edge or to improve their appearance.

While PEDs do have the ability to improve athletic performance, they also are very dangerous and have a number of risk factors.

According to the Mayo Clinic, males and females who take anabolic steroids might experience severe acne; an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture; liver abnormalities and tumors; increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; hypertension; heart and circulatory problems; aggressive behaviors, rage or violence; or psychiatric disorders, such as depression, among other issues. Adolescents also are at risk of inhibited growth and development, and risk of future health problems.

Since physical therapists often treat athletes of all ages, it is important for them to be aware of the issues surrounding PEDs, such as methyltestosterone, androstenedione, HGH, stimulants.

Take the continuing education module “Anabolic Steroids and Other Performance-Enhancing Drugs” to become more familiar with the risks involving PEDs. The CE module presents information on the prevalence, effects and dangers of anabolic steroid and other performance-enhancing drug use among adolescents and to identify personal and socio-environmental factors associated with use of these substances.

After taking this CE, physical therapists, nurses, dietitians, fitness professionals, athletic trainers, health educators and pharmacists will be able to:

  • Identify the physical and psychological effects of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drug use in different age groups and genders
  • Discern anabolic steroids from glucocorticoids
  • Discuss the mechanisms of action of performance-enhancing drugs
  • Describe the pressures teenagers face regarding performance-enhancing drug use