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Anabolic Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Drugs.

Anabolic Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Drugs by P. Lenahan London: Taylor & Francis, 2003 [ISBN 0-415-28030-3]

Anabolic steroids are testosterone-like drugs that are commonly being abused and misused by athletes and young people. A book exclusively on the topic of these drugs is quite welcome, as it is difficult to find so much information in one place. The book has been written in the United Kingdom and primarily provides a British context with some relationship to U.S. and Canadian studies. The book is organized into five chapters and is easy to read with a logical flow from one chapter to the next.

The first chapter is an introduction that defines what anabolic steroids are and why a book about anabolic steroids is being written. The reasons for writing the book as cited by the author are high usage, increased morbidity and mortality associated with these drugs, increasingly prevalent use among adolescents, and to serve as a reliable source of information for users and professionals.

The second chapter provides an overview of the social history of anabolic steroids, including their development, prevalence, and implications for society. The book traces the history of testosterone and anabolic steroids since the 1930s, their use in World War II, treatment of hypogonadism, ergogenic purposes, and use in sports. The chapter also presents prevalence data in several subgroups such as adolescents, adult females, adult males, and elite athletes. The chapter also summarizes the current therapeutic applications of anabolic steroids.

The third chapter is about medical side effects or me use of anabolic steroids, including both physical and psychological. Among the effects discussed are myocardial hypertrophy and cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accidents, high blood pressure, altered lipid profiles, embolism, infertility, decreased thyroxine, association with prostatic disease, increased sexual drive, changes in metabolism, dermatological conditions, decreased immunity; increased infections due to injecting, musculoskeletal problems, and psychological effects.

The fourth chapter is about use of anabolic steroids in sports. It starts with a historical perspective describing various events in the timeline of use of anabolic steroids and their antecedents. The response in sports, mainly the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the use of anabolic steroids, is presented. The chapter briefly discusses all the substances prohibited by IOC including stimulants, narcotics, anabolic agents, diuretics, peptide hormones, mimetics and analogues, agents with anti-estrogenic activity, and masking agents.

The final section is about how anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs are used. The chapter begins with a discussion about the cost of using anabolic drugs. The chapter then has a discussion about counterfeit drugs and fakes. In the last part the profile of twenty-four steroids with their alternative names, proprietary names, therapeutic dose and usage, and street information is presented. The book provides over 400 references.

The book is really useful for professionals including policy makers who deal directly with issues pertaining to anabolic steroids. The book can also be used as a supplementary reader for undergraduate and graduate students who are taking a drug education course. The language is easy to read and understand.
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Author:Sharma, Manoj
Publication:Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 2005
Words:506
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