With alcohol consumption (and abuse) normalized, is it more of a health hazard than steroids in bodybuilding?
Comparing alcohol to steroids might seem like a stretch – and in many ways it is. These are two completely different substances. But one basic connection about both substances is that they can cause long term damage if abused. In the United States, alcohol consumption and abuse is normalized despite the dangers. Steroids on the other hand are extremely taboo. Is this fair? Does steroid use and abuse lead to health risks worse than alcohol? Or should both be treated the same? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Dr. Testosterone attempts to compare the two and advise which is less healthy of a habit.
There’s no doubt that steroid use can have long term effects on your health. That’s not what is in debate within the world of bodybuilding. The question becomes more about whether or not it’s worth the risk. There are many things that are unhealthy in the long term normalized by society. Cigarettes have been proven to cause serious long term damage such as lung cancer but is still fully legal for recreational use. Alcohol abuse can lead to extreme liver damage but hard nights of drinking are common – especially amongst young people.
So why do steroids get such a bad rap? Are they truly that much more dangerous than the likes of cigarettes and alcohol? Or is it simply the visual of a needle that adds to the fear of its dangers?
During our conversation with Dr. Testosterone – we asked him to make a stretch and compare alcohol to steroid use. Two completely different substances – but both potentially dangerous. One accepted by society. The other demonized and banned from causal use.
Dr. Testosterone had a simple answer – both are unhealthy when used long term. Both are especially unhealthy when abused long term. But if he had to choose, he would be more comfortable using doses of steroids long term than alcohol. Perhaps this is due to his knowledge of such drugs. Dr. T did admit that he would feel safer using steroids only if he could get regular tests done to monitor his health.
Ultimately, this has less to do with science and more to do with public perception. In the governments attempt to make steroids an illegal substance (unless prescribed by a doctor), it turned the drug into a scary substance. Similar to marijuana, a drug that has proven health benefits and is likely more healthy than cigarettes. Marijuana had been demonized by the United States for decades and is only now normalizing on a state to state level.
Perhaps comparing alcohol to steroids is unfair on a medical level. But in terms of social norms – it’s important to ask why some dangerous drugs are accepted while others are not. Perhaps this is why bodybuilders are willing to take the risk. Like many people across the world who smoke cigarettes – sometimes the benefits outweigh the future risks.
You can watch Dr. Testosterone’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.
(DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this video are that of the subject and does not reflect the opinions of Generation Iron).