IN 2015, Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews was quietly asked to leave ITV’s I’m A Celebrity after revealing a secret drug addiction . Far from the ‘party drugs’ celebrities are normally papped with in hotel rooms, Spencer had developed a dependency on performance-enhancing steroids.
Taken in pills or injections, anabolic steroids mimic the male hormone testosterone that causes increased muscle growth, endurance and sporting performance. They are often misused by bodybuilders and athletes to build up muscle mass, recover faster and train harder.
Spencer originally began self-medicating with steroids to boost his boxing training, but continued to take the pills after the event ‘completely out of vanity.’ A year on, Spencer admits that he wanted to look good in the shower on I’m A Celebrity, and that the pressure of millions of viewers seeing his naked torso led him to misuse steroids in the jungle.
So he’s faster, stronger, fit – who cares?
We’re glad you asked. There are a wealth of risks associated with recreational use of anabolic steroids.
Not only do steroid pills and injections carry the risk of addiction, to the drugs themselves as well as the physical outcomes of their use, they also cause drastic mood swings often referred to as Roid Rage. Users become paranoid, violent and aggressive and can feel extremely destructive. It’s a funny nickname for a grotesque side-effect.
When they’re not shouting or breaking stuff, men using the drugs also risk erection problems and the shrinking of their testicles. Yikes. The steroids may also cause them to develop breasts, lose their hair and develop acne. Long-term effects could lead to them being unable to father children. That’s a whole lot of risks for a set of pecs (or breasts, depending on how badly you’re hit by the side-effects.)
As for the ladies, they don’t get off lightly either. All those drugs pretending to be testosterone in their system have the power to boost the growth of their facial hair and make their breasts shrink. Steroids can also cause women’s voices to deepen, acne to develop and can wreak havoc with their menstrual cycle. Women may also go bald. So to re-cap : beard, shrunken boobs, man voice, hair falling out on the pillow.
That’s if you’re a fully grown adult. By indulging in steroids as a teenager or young person, your body may stop developing properly all together. Even if you feel you’ve grown as much as you’re going to, until you reach your early twenties it’s unlikely you’ve filled out completely.
Throw in some insomnia, high blood pressure and the increased risk of liver failure, stroke and heart attack and steroids aren’t as sexy as Spencer might have thought they were. The repercussions of infertility, man-breasts, rage and dysfunctional private parts just aren’t worth soaping a six pack in the jungle.
Thinking about getting a six pack for summer? Stick to the sit-ups.
Already having trouble with drugs of any kind, or worried about a friend? Talk to FRANK.