Exercise and diet are recipes for a happy and healthy life. They can also lead to dangerous habits and unhealthy ways of living. Feeling good and looking fit is a goal for nearly everyone, but it can be taken too far. Exercise addiction does not sound like a real problem, after all how bad could it be to be addicted to something that is good or you. Is it even possible to be addicted to exercise? The truth is that there are a number of addictions that most of society does not even consider when thinking about addiction. Most people consider drugs and alcohol to be the only substances/things that an individual can become addicted to, when in fact there is sex, gambling, over-achieving, dieting and exercise. When any substance or thing is abused beyond health benefits it can be considered an addiction. Addiction is defined as a chronic relapsing issue that is characterized by drug/activity searching and engagement even when it is known that the substance or activity is harmful.

PEDs, Performance Enhancing Drugs

The popularity of performance enhancing drugs is at an all time high. These drugs are used by athletes everywhere to gain a competitive edge. In a society that values and thrives on competition it is no surprise that these drugs are popular. The amount of money and fame that is on the line makes it easy for some athletes to to take the risk. For some the risk is not even that high. Take professional baseball players. These individuals are the highest paid athletes and have the strongest union. Players like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Alex Rodriguez have all been penalized for taking steroids, but have made millions of dollars in the process. Each has risen to the pinnacle of stardom in baseball with minimal penalties. A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez, might have received the harshest punishment, but no fines or penalties in terms of money that would be considered significant. By using performance enhancing drugs he has made hundreds of millions of dollars and is currently still a player for the New York Yankees.  When younger and minor league/collegiate athletes look at their professional heroes they see the fame and fortune, not the shame and embarrassment for using these drugs. Performance enhancing drugs allow players to reach heights they might not be able to reach without the drugs and it is changing the way society views drug use and abuse.

PEDs and Exercise Addiction

Most of American society strives to be a better version of themselves every day. It is a great goal to have. Progress is good for the individual as well as for society. Too often however, people get carried away with the goal of being better. Many turn to performance enhancing drugs as a way to get the results they desire. This can lead to dangerous health situations both physical and mental. The physical should be obvious; heart problems, liver issues, fatigue, bodily breakdown and a number of other health problems. The mental issues are not as easy to detect or predict. PEDs allow athletes to push themselves to new levels. It can also push them into an addiction. When they take these drugs they get heightened alertness, increased energy and feelings of pleasure or euphoria. Athletes can become addicted to these feelings and strive to experience them again. The craving and desire to continue to feel that way will push them to continue to abuse, what is most likely an illegal substance. Athletes should only use substances that are deemed safe by their athletic trainer or physician because they run the risk of developing an addiction.