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February 2013

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« Strike trois at the Tour de France: Riccardo Ricco tests positive for EPO | Main | Dwain Chambers: Bad news from the judge's chambers »




For sure people without ADHD abuse Ritalin to do well at school. I know several medical students that use a number of stimulants so they can work longer hours. I also know people who abuse viagra who are not impotent. You can abuse anything you like.

Millard Baker

Certainly, pharmaceutical drugs have recognized medical indications for which they are prescribed. But in actual practice, it seems that a large percentage of prescriptions for the mentioned drugs are given in the absence of a clinically significant medical/psychological disorder.

Most people (let me qualify that by saying most "professionals" in their 30s and 40s and beyond) can successfully go to their doctor and ask for Viagra or Cialis to "spice up their sex life" and not be turned down. Tell your doctor you need more energy and focus and ask for Provigil and you will often be given one. Tell your GP your dealing with extra anxiety due to work demands and successfully receive a prescription for Klonopin or Xanax.

The actual practice of medicine today does not meet the ideal medical practices.

Millard Baker

I want to add that ironically in the age of the doping hysteria, it seems that doctors are most willing to prescribe drugs like Adderall, Provigil, Ritalin, and Wellbuterin to professionals for whom the drugs will enhance their work-related productivity and on-the-job performance. IOW, performance enhancing purposes. This seems to be acceptable in the medical community (if not society at large).

Migel Palota

"In modern society, athletes have become heroes. Sports stars aren’t so much role models for society as reflections of it, albeit reflections with exceptional talent. Athletes take performance-enhancing substances mainly as a consequence of our sky-high expectations and the huge commercial interests involved.

Ultimately they are part of the same achievement-oriented society we are, in which he use of stimulants has become normal. The appropriate response is not moral outrage, but a relaxing of the enormous pressure we put on them: Just do your best, kid. That’s all you can do."

As much as we may wish the above was not a true statement, it is. The columnist is correct. This is the pharmacological age and there are countless, countless examples of PED use in the world outside sport.

As to the PED use, outside sports, of anti-depressants - SSRI's - it's far more common than people think. In the book "Listening to Prozac", the author writes about the ethics of what he called "pharmacological plastic surgery". Basically, business executives - who are healthy - are using ant-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs to help them through very tough business deals. I, personally, have seen this.

Mahidhar Reddy

Gaffney is stretching it now....I'm in med school and probably 50% of the people are using amphetamines to at least, in their mind, "do better and score higher"...It's easy to talk about sports but what about medicine, where doctors are responsible for the lives of others?

I guess there is no "black market" for viagra pills either....wrong again Gaffney.

Maybe the kids don't really have ADHD...after all, many can play video games everyday without problem....maybe it is BTD (boring teacher disorder)....Yes, yes, not a real medical diagnosis in DSM....Because of course, everything in DSM is a fact and there are no personal agendas involved in the "disease mongering" just to make a buck off of medicalizing people's suffering.

I've used weights for 17 years and I've never seen a steroid or used steroids, but some of your commentary is just your criticism of Chris Bell (BIGGER STRONGER FASTER). "whom the bell tolls"....that's very high on the sensitivity scale my friend.

And you basically defended Taylor Hooton's father in another post. Maybe you should watch the movie again regarding the part about Lexapro use and suicidal ideation. Blaming the steroids over the lexapro is questionable at best, which is what you are implicitly doing.

All of your so called cliche information is cliche when applied to large groups of people in a generalized manner. However, those stereotypes did develop for a reason: because for a large percentage of people IT IS ACTUALLY THE CASE. I know that's hard to grasp from the Ivory towers at Iowa.

You should spend more time criticizing your co-workers and expand on the lax ethics in medicine that allows for steroids to be used in an irresponsible and deleterious manner. It is more constructive than criticizing steroid use and steroid users. Steroid use, for better or worse, is here to stay. Ethics in medicine are far more relevant to a large percentage of people. Your comments about PEDs in medicine among medical professionals is largely dismissive in tone, typifying the arrogance I've seen with the numerous doctors in my own family (about 30 when including 1st 2nd and 3rd cousins).

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