03-15-2004, 11:44 AM #1
This article reads like a testimonial...
You'd think they almost want people to follow in this kid's footsteps... his last words make sense, don't know if he followed them though.
Shooting to get big
Peer pressure motivates many to begin using steroids
By Jason Irsay
Alejandro Zapata weighed only 120 pounds when he came to UCF his freshman year. He had always had problems gaining weight and was tired of being light. When he used anabolic steroids, he primarily wanted to put on some pounds. "Not really get bigger, I just wanted to gain weight," Zapata said. "I have a fast metabolism."
As a member of a fraternity, Zapata saw the benefits of steroid use . His friends in the fraternity used steroids, and did them responsibly. "These guys didn't go overboard," Zapata said.
"So I moved in with them," Zapata said. "They kept saying 'Do it, do it, do it.' I kind of wanted to because I was only 120 pounds. So I was like, 'whatever'. So I tried it the first time basically to gain weight, gain strength."
As Sports Illustrated reported, anabolic steroids have recently become a major issue in baseball, but athletes have been using steroids for decades to add muscle mass and boost athletic performance. While UCF's scholarship athletes do not use illicit performance-enhancing drugs, many regular students, particularly in fraternities, have turned to steroids to get bigger.
UCF head athletic trainer Darryl Conway explained that the NCAA's random drug test program keeps most athletes from using steroids.
"I think it's more of a problem among non-athletes than it is among athletes because athletes always have that threat of being tested," Conway said.
Conway said that no UCF athlete has tested positive for steroids since he took the position of head athletic trainer in the fall of 2001.
REACH: Peer Edu-cation distributes a booklet that attempts to educate students on the effects of steroids . The booklet defines steroids as "synthetically manufactured compounds which are similar to the male androgen, testosterone ." Scientists created steroids "to produce a product that would include the highly anabolic effects of testosterone while avoiding the androgenic effects."
Anabolic refers to the muscle-building effects of steroids, while androgenic means promoting masculine characteristics.
A number of factors, including physical, psychological and environmental, can drive a typical workout warrior to take anabolic steroids, according to REACH peer counselor and steroid guru Steve Simmons. Who a person is around, where he or she works out, and who he or she talks to all play a role in determining whether a person will take steroids.
"Maybe some sort of setback in the gym. Maybe something happened, they injured themselves," Simmons said. "They get to a plateau point, and they can never move past it. Maybe they see the people they're with moving past it [the plateau point]." Self-esteem plays a very large role in the determination. "Maybe just insecurities of their own; body image problems," Simmons said.
Conway attributed steroid use by non-athletes to societal pressure to look bigger or more attractive. Athletes have different motivations. "In an athlete, I'd say the performance enhancement of having bigger strength or speed, etc." leads to steroid use, Conway said.
Zapata said his friends in the fraternity influenced his decision to use. "It was definitely easier than, say, me asking somebody how to do it, and do it by myself, not knowing the right ways, or the best way to go about it," Zapata said. "It was a lot easier with them living there [to] guide me through it."
Zapata saw a noticeable change from using steroids. "I went from 122 [pounds] to 175 in three and a half months," Zapata said. "It was definitely cool. My strength went up, like skyrocketed."
Zapata said he did not go through many of the serious side effects that often accompany steroid use. Men can experience shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness and breast development. Women can experience facial hair growth, changes in their menstrual cycles, enlargement of the clitoris and deepening of the voice.
Several side effects can strike users of either sex. Michael Deichen, associate director of clinical services at UCF Student Health Services, talked about the general dangers associated with steroid use. "Hardening of the arteries, heart disease, liver damage, acne, hair loss and loss of control of temperament," Deichen said.
"There is no quality assurance," Deichen added. "There are amateur doctors prescribing unknown quantities."
Zapata said he received his steroids through the mail. "I got it from a guy in Gainesville," Zapata said. "He got it mailed to him, and then he mailed it to me. That's all I know."
Liver problems commonly occur in steroid users, particularly those who use oral steroids . "That's because oral steroids have to be broken down by the liver," Simmons explained.
As Deichen noted, steroid users often do not maintain control of their emotions. Wild mood swings and increased aggression, symptoms of "roid rage ", put steroid users and those around them in danger. "There is more and more of a recognized association with anger, rage, and volatile personalities of individuals who utilize anabolic steroids," Deichen said.
He added: "People are more likely to become violent and aggressive and be less in control of their temperament. It's a scary situation. Those persons who utilize those drugs could be putting themselves in jeopardy – creating conflicts, fights – or others. It's not something that you necessarily control."
Zapata said that because he used better steroids, he did not experience most of the negative side effects that plague so many other users, but he noticed some changes, such as increased aggression. "When I was playing sports, I was a little louder, a little crazier," Zapata recalled. "I would scream at the other team...I would sweat a lot more, just sweat for no reason."
Zapata said he has seen the bad side of steroid use. "Some people, like my roommate that always does it, he has a temper, but he doesn't get out of control," Zapata said. "When he starts getting mad, he starts laughing about it. He, like, becomes like a 'roid' monster. He starts beating on himself, like a monkey. He starts screaming."
Zapata also mentioned a fraternity brother he knows who used steroids so often he had to stay in bed because he could not move.
Steroids have legitimate medical uses, as Deichen noted. "There are some medical uses," Deichen said. "There are steroids that are not anabolic steroids."
"Prednisone is a steroid that can be used appropriately to treat asthma and severe allergies," Deichen said. "It reverses allergic reactions, and when used appropriately it can be life saving. There are male and female hormones that are used for a variety of circumstances."
Deichen added: "Some-times we use male hormones in very low doses to help sexual drive in women. There are men that have a diseased state or a situation that causes destruction of the testicles or pituitary gland. They may need male hormones to replace what they've lost. Again, its small dosages relative to how people use them to build muscle mass."
Zapata used a steroid called sustanon , along with gamma hydroxy-butyrate, commonly known as GHB. He has no regrets about his steroid use, but he will not use steroids again. "I knew I would just do it that one time," Zapata said. "My one cycle, and I was done. That's why I got the best stuff, did it right. I just wanted to jump in weight real quick."
03-15-2004, 01:19 PM #2
zapata is a F****** idiot, what a loser
03-15-2004, 01:20 PM #3
bet he paid gym prices too
03-15-2004, 01:51 PM #4
yeah i would vote this guy in for #1 dip****
03-15-2004, 01:53 PM #5
and why in the **** was he useing ghb to get big....what a crock of ****
03-15-2004, 02:01 PM #6Originally Posted by ColdStone
03-15-2004, 02:16 PM #7
Where did this article come from (other than someone's butt)???
03-15-2004, 02:18 PM #8
oh hes using it because he only used the BEST steroids ........its people like this that make me want to bring back eugenics.........(sp) basically it means sterilizing stupid and ignorant people so they can't reproduce........dumb***
03-15-2004, 03:51 PM #9
it really sounds to me like some steriod pro-activist wrote this in hope of shedding sme light on the general public that not all people get fukked up by AAS, but he did a ****y job...i wouldnt wipe my ass with this article
03-15-2004, 04:34 PM #10Originally Posted by Rhino58
supposedly ghb releases more gh in your system, with the obvious benefit of more muscle growth... many people have used ghb in attempts to gain mass.
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