I recently watched the documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” and it discussed the use of steroids and some other performance enhancers in professional sports, especially bodybuilding and baseball.
The performance enhancers brought up in the documentary are not the only ones used though, there are a variety of other performance enhancing drugs as well.
Some main examples would be Amphetamines, doping, Propanol, and Tetrahydrogestrinone. The drugs are used to enhance the abilities of users specific to their profession.
A popular way that cyclists and runners enhance their performance is through blood doping which is when they draw their red blood cells and infuse them back in before they compete so they have more red blood cells and their performance is increased.
According to CNN, doping problem by the professional athletes is known since 1960s.
Blood doping has been made illegal throughout the sports world so the number of dopers has decreased.
Most people create sleep pods or sleep at higher altitudes so their red blood cells increase at a higher rate.
Essentially it does the same thing as blood doping, but this is a more natural and legal option.
Performance enhancement drugs have also made their way into our militaries. A large number of fighter jet pilots take what are called “go pills.”
NBC News reported that Battle of Britain towards Afghanistan at night. Military aviators used amphetamines as stimulant to kept them alert and focus.
Amphetamines able to decrease one’s appetite but increase the alertness by influence the central nervous system.
To a certain extent it makes sense for fighter jet pilots to take drugs that keep them awake because of their constant demand of alertness, but on the contrary it’s also extremely risky to have someone who is flying a very expensive,destructive, and complex flying machine while under the influence of highly sensitive drugs.
No other country in the world allows amphetamines in the Air Force, but in America, we require it – Bigger, Faster, Stronger.
Steroids and enhancing drugs aren’t limited to professional athletes or highly trained fighter pilots, a lot of musicians also take them before performances to enhance their ability to focus on their performance .
The drugs that many musicians take are known as beta blockers, or Propanol, it controls hypertension, increases blood circulation, and slows heart rate. It prevents the performer from becoming nervous.
Blocking that adrenaline goes a long way towards enhancing performance – musician from Bigger, Stronger, Faster.
A lot of people don’t even know that musicians take performance enhancing drugs, but their reasoning seems to make sense to many and it hasn’t become illegal.
A very common environment for performance drugs can be at school. Many high school and college students take Adderall.
The drug Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These stimulants affect the central nervous system which gives the brain chemistry and nerves to response hyperactive.
Students feel pressured by their surroundings and by the amount of work they receive that it eventually leads them into taking Adderall to get a lot of work done fast.
Adderall is a very powerful stimulant, very much like cocaine or methamphetamine – Bigger, Faster, Stronger.
If Adderall is compared to cocaine or meth it shows how dangerous and addictive the drug can be.
Your test scores go up, you’re doing homework faster so you can do more work – student from Bigger, Faster, Stronger.
This result can lead to further intake of the drug and more students will end up taking it thinking it will be beneficial.
Performance enhancers are not only drugs, Tiger Woods got Lasik eye surgery to enhance his vision while he plays golf and got better depth perception, his vision was 20/15 which is more than perfect.
Even though this surgery was not illegal it is still a method of enhancing performance in an unnatural way, but because it didn’t involve drugs it was not debated extensively.
There are many different performance enhancing drugs and methods used by a variety of people for different reasons, but they have one thing in common; to enhance their performance ability.
Should a student taking Adderall to improve his/her studying and work speed be compared to a fighter jet pilot on amphetamine to stay alert be judged on the same level?
And which performance enhancement methods are considered cheating? I believe that the line is drawn based on one’s personal beliefs and ethical morals.
One person may think it’s ok for fighter jet pilots to be on go pills but would consider it cheating for Tiger Woods to get eye surgery to enhance vision while another person has a completely different set of opinions.
I personally think that performance drugs should not be allowed if it other people at risk by one person taking them like the fighter pilots.
I think the fact that everyone has different reasons and morals on what’s right or wrong makes it so difficult to differentiate cheating, illegal, and dangerous from helpful, safe, and ok to use.
My name is Salina Tekele and I am a high school senior at Pioneer High School. I was born in Mannheim, Germany and moved to the United States when I was eight years old. Since then, I have encountered many adversities, like language barrier, bullying, loneliness, etc. Something very important that the move has taught me is that if I strive, I can succeed.