Anabolic steroid abuse has been associated with a wide range of adverse side effects ranging from some that are physically unattractive, such as acne and breast development in men, to others that are life threatening, such as heart attacks and liver cancer. Most are reversible if the abuser stops taking the drugs, but some are permanent, such as voice deepening in females. Most data on the long-term effects of anabolic steroids in humans come from case reports rather than formal epidemiological studies.
From the case reports, the incidence of lifethreatening effects appears to be low, but serious adverse effects may be underrecognized or underreported, especially since they may occur many years later. Data from animal studies seem to support this possibility. One study found that exposing male mice for one-fifth of their lifespan to steroid doses comparable to those taken by human athletes caused a high frequency of early deaths.
Possible Health Consequences of Anabolic Steroid Abuse Hormonal system Men infertility breast development shrinking of the testicles male-pattern baldness Women enlargement of the clitoris excessive growth of body hair male-pattern baldness Musculoskeletal system short stature (if taken by adolescents) tendon rupture Cardiovascular system increases in LDL; decreases in HDL high blood pressure heart attacks enlargement of the heart's left ventricle Liver cancer peliosis hepatis tumors Skin severe acne and cysts oily scalp jaundice fluid retention Infection HIV/AIDS hepatitis Psychiatric effects rage, aggression mania delusions Hormonal system Steroid abuse disrupts the normal production of hormones in the body, causing both reversible and irreversible changes.
Changes that can be reversed include reduced sperm production and shrinking of the testicles (testicular atrophy). Irreversible changes include male-pattern baldness and breast development (gynecomastia) in men. In one study of male bodybuilders, more than half had testicular atrophy and/or gynecomastia. In the female body, anabolic steroids cause masculinization. Breast size and body fat decrease, the skin becomes coarse, the clitoris enlarges, and the voice deepens.
Women may experience excessive growth of body hair but lose scalp hair. With continued administration of steroids, some of these effects become irreversible. Musculoskeletal system Rising levels of testosterone and other sex hormones normally trigger the growth spurt that occurs during puberty and adolescence and provide the signals to stop growth as well. When a child or adolescent takes anabolic steroids, the resulting artificially high sex hormone levels can prematurely signal the bones to stop growing.
Cardiovascular system Steroid abuse has been associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks and strokes, even in athletes younger than 30. Steroids contribute to the development of CVD, partly by changing the levels of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. Steroids, particularly oral steroids, increase the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and decrease the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
High LDL and low HDL levels increase the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty substances are deposited inside arteries and disrupt blood flow. If blood is prevented from reaching the heart, the result can be a heart attack. If blood is prevented from reaching the brain, the result can be a stroke. Steroids also increase the risk that blood clots will form in blood vessels, potentially disrupting blood flow and damaging the heart muscle so that it does not pump blood effectively.
Liver Steroid abuse has been associated with liver tumors and a rare condition called peliosis hepatis, in which blood-filled cysts form in the liver. Both the tumors and the cysts can rupture, causing internal bleeding. Skin Steroid abuse can cause acne, cysts, and oily hair and skin. Infections Many abusers who inject anabolic steroids may use nonsterile injection techniques or share contaminated needles with other abusers.
In addition, some steroid preparations are manufactured illegally under nonsterile conditions. These factors put abusers at risk for acquiring lifethreatening viral infections, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Abusers also can develop endocarditis, a bacterial infection that causes a potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Bacterial infections also can cause pain and abscess formation at injection sites.
See Also: Happy Valley Animal Hospital
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Out of a jungle of rain-washed pines and junipers spearing the hot blueness of the Florida sky, ran a little, tawny-haired boy. His bare feet, extending from his overalled legs, crackled in opposition to the fallen palmettos. He leaped into your air, flinging his arms towards a flock of white doves circling above him.
“The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but Can they suffer?” – Jeremy Bentham Awareness of animal cruelty and harsher sentences for those convicted has become increasingly important in the last few years. Many law schools now offer specific courses on the subject, all 50 states have animal cruelty felony provisions (most of felony provisions are for malicious, willful, or aggravated animal cruelty (language varies from state to state) when only four had such penalties in 1986, and the FBI just this year started collecting data on arrests for animal cruelty, which was previously lumped into the “other crimes” category.
The thing that we seem to not have an answer for, however, is the strong correlation between animal abuse and other crimes such as bullying, assault and murder. What is Animal Cruelty? Contrary to the first thought that would jump into many people’s heads, abuse is not just a violent act towards an animal; it is also about neglect and failing to provide for its general well-being. This covers an array of circumstances, including leaving an animal chained up outside during inclement weather or for long periods of time, hoarding, or failing to provide veterinary services as needed.
Dogs are the animals that suffer the most abuse. From fighting to the general neglect just mentioned, approximately 64 percent of reported cruelty involves dogs. They are the most common household pet, and unfortunately, household pets are the animals that suffer the most abuse. In correlation to other incidents of domestic violence, 71 percent of pet-owning women who were victims say that their attacker also targeted their pet.
is it always a crime to abuse an animal? While animal abuse is never O.K., it it isn’t always a crime and -even when it is – not all animals are protected (especially in laboratory testing). There is a lot of variance in animal abuse laws from state to state, particularly in terms of which animals are covered. For example, some states do not include fish or other sea creatures on their protected animals list, while others still, such as Nebraska, do not include livestock.
Animal Cruelty Laws by State State Animals Covered 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense Psychological Testing State Animals Covered 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense Psychological Testing Alabama Dog or cat that is domesticated member of family $1,000 fine and/or 6 months jail $3,000 fine and/or 1 year jail $15,000 fine and 10 years imprisonment No Alaska Vertebrate living creature, not including humans or fish $10,000 fine and/or 1 year prison $50,000 fine and/or 5 years prison N/A No Arizona Mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian $2,500 fine and/or 6 months prison $150,000 fine and/or 2 years prison N/A No Arkansas Vertebrate living creature, not including humans or fish $1,000-10,000 fine and/or 1-6 years prison $1,000-10,000 fine and/or 1-6 years prison $1,000-10,000 fine and/or 1-6 years prison Yes California Every dumb creature, endangered species $1,000-20,000 fine and/or 6 months-1 year jail $20,000 fine and/or 3 years jail N/A Yes Colorado Any living dumb creature, domesticated and livestock $1,000-5,000 fine and/or 18 months prison $1,000 fine and 3 years prison Escalating penalties Yes Connecticut All brute creatures and birds $1,000 fine and/or 1 year prison Up to 5 years prison N/A No Delaware Animals not including fish, crustacean or molluska $2,300 fine and/or 1 year prison Fine determined by court, 3 years prison N/A Yes Florida Every living dumb creature $500-5,000 fine and/or 60 days-1 year prison N/A N/A Yes if felony Georgia Animals not including fish or pests $1,000-15,000 fine and/or 1-10 years prison $5,000-100,000 fine and/or 1-10 years prison Escalating penalties Yes before sentencing Hawaii Animals except human $1-10,000 fine and/or 30 days-5 years prison N/A N/A No Idaho Any vertebrate member of animal kingdom except man $5,000 fine and/or 6 months-3 years prison $7,000 fine and/or 9 months jail $9,000 fine and/or 1 year jail No Illinois Animals except human $1,500-25,000 fine and 30 days-3 years prison $25,000 fine and 3-5 years prison N/A Yes Indiana Animals except human $5,000-10,000 fine and/or 1-3 years in prison N/A N/A Yes Iowa Vertebrates not including: humans, livestock, game, fur-bearing animals and fish unless owned by a person $625-6,250 fine and 30 days-2 years prison $7,500 fine and 5 years prison N/A Yes Kansas Living vertebrate except human $2,500 fine and/or 1 year jail $2,500 fine and/or 1 year prison N/A Yes Kentucky Warm blooded living creature except human $500 fine and/or 1 year prison $10,000 fine and 5 years prison N/A No Louisiana N/A $1,000 fine and 40 hrs.
community service and/or 1 year prison $25,000 fine and/or 10 years prison N/A Yes Maine Every living sentient creature not a human $2,000-10,000 fine and/or 1-5 years prison Escalating penalties N/A Yes Maryland Living creature except human $1,000 fine and/or 90 days prison $2,000-5,000 fine and/or 6 months-5 years prison N/A Yes Massachusetts N/A $5,000-10,000 fine and/or 7-10 years prison N/A N/A No Michigan Vertebrate other than human $1,000-2,000 fine and/or 93 days-1 year prison and/or 200-300 hrs.
community service $2,000 fine and/or 2 years prison and/or 300 hrs. community service $5,000 fine and/or 4 years prison and/or 500 hrs. community service Yes Minnesota Every living creature not a human $25-10,000 fine and/or 90 days-4 years prison N/A N/A Yes Mississippi Any feline, canine, horse, mule, jack, jennet or exotic animal $100-1,000 fine and/or 100 days-3 years prison/jail $5,000 fine and/or 5 years prison N/A Yes Missouri Every living vertebrate except human $500-1,000 fine and/or 15 days-1 year prison $1,000-5,000 fine and/or 6 months-4 years prison N/A Yes Montana N/A $1,000-2,500 fine and/or 1-2 years prison/jail $2,500 fine and/or 2 years prison N/A No Nebraska Any vertebrate member of animal kingdom except wild uncaptured creature or livestock $1,000 fine and/or 1 year prison $10,000 fine and/or 2-3 years prison and 12-18 months post-release supervision N/A No Nevada Every living creature not a human $1,000 fine and 6 months jail and 120 hrs.
community service $1,000 fine and 6 months jail and 200 hrs. community service $10,000 fine and 5 years prison Yes New Hampshire Domesticated animal, household pet or wild animal in captivity $2,000 fine and/or 1 year prison $4,000 fine and/or 7 years prison N/A No New Jersey The whole brute creation $2,000-10,000 fine and/or 6-18 months prison $10,000-15,000 fine and/or 18 months-5 years prison N/A Yes if juvenile New Mexico "Animal" does not include insects or reptiles $1,000 fine and/or 1 year jail $5,000 fine and/or 18 months prison N/A Yes New York Every living creature not a human $100-5,000 fine and/or 1-4 years prison N/A N/A No North Carolina "Animal" includes every living vertebrate in the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings $1,000 fine and/or 30 days-6 months prison N/A N/A No North Dakota N/A $3,000 fine and/or 1 year prison $3,000 fine and/or 1 year prison $10,000 fine and/or 5 years prison No Ohio Every living dumb creature $250-2,500 fine and/or 30 days-1 year jail or prison N/A N/A Yes Oklahoma Any mammal, bird, fish, reptile or invertebrate, including wild and domesticated species, other than a human being $250-5,000 fine and/or 1-5 years jail or prison N/A N/A No Oregon Any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish $1,250-125,000 fine and/or 30 days-5 years prison N/A N/A Yes Pennsylvania “Domestic animal” means any dog, cat, equine animal, bovine animal, sheep, goat or porcine animal.
“Domestic fowl” means any avis raised for food, hobby or sport $500-5,000 fine and/or 90 days-2 years prison $2,500-15,000 fine and/or 2-7 years prison N/A Yes Rhode Island Every living creature not a human $500-1,000 fine and/or 11 months-2 years prison N/A N/A Yes South Carolina living vertebrate creature except a homo sapien, "fowl" not covered $500-5,000 fine and/or 30 days-10 years prison N/A N/A No South Dakota Any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish, except humans $2,000-4,000 fine and/or 1-2 years jail or prison N/A N/A No Tennessee Domesticated living creature or a wild creature previously captured $50-3,000 fine and/or 30 days-6 years prison $3,000-25,000 fine and/or 6-30 years prison N/A Yes Texas “‘Animal’ means a domesticated living creature, including any stray or feral cat or dog, and a wild living creature previously captured,” not including “an uncaptured wild living creature or a livestock animal.
” $500-10,000 fine and 1-2 years jail $4,000-10,000 fine and 2-4 years jail $10,000 fine and 2 years jail Yes Utah Live, nonhuman vertebrate creature, not including those in captivity $750-5,000 fine and/or 90 days-5 years prison N/A N/A Yes Vermont All living sentient creatures not human $2,000-5,000 fine and/or 1-3 years prison $5,000-7,500 fine and/or 2-5 years prison N/A Yes Virginia Any nonhuman vertebrate species except fish $250-2,500 fine and/or 6 months-1 year jail $500-2,500 fine and/or 1-10 years prison N/A Yes Washington Every creature, either alive or dead, other than a human being $150-10,000 fine and/or 60 days-5 years jail or prison N/A N/A Yes West Virginia N/A $500-2,000 fine and/or 3-6 months jail $1,000-5,000 fine and/or 6 months-10 years prison N/A Yes Wisconsin Every living warm-blooded creature, except a human being, reptile, or amphibian $500-10,000 fine and/or 9-42 months prison N/A N/A No Wyoming Livestock, animal used for food, animal used for work $750-5,000 fine and/or 6 months-2 years prison $5,000 fine and/or 1 year prison N/A No *Notes regarding laws in table: In some states, penalties vary greatly.
Some states do not have escalating penalties based on prior convictions, but rather they base it on the stipulations listed here: which animal was subjected to cruelty, how harsh the cruelty was, whether there was intent to sell, whether classified as misdemeanor or felony, how valuable the court deems the animal, and whether it lives or dies. All punishments regard maximum penalties. On the flip side of this, there are states that have some interesting provisions that invoke harsh penalties.
For example, in Arizona, even just being present at a dogfight is a Class 6 Felony, which carries anywhere from a six month to a six year sentence, depending on priors. Penalties can also be more harsh if they happen in the presence of a child. In relation to this, 75 percent of animal abuse incidents occurred in the presence of women and/or children. When one considers that a child who witnesses this is three times more likely to be violent towards an animal compared to those in a peaceful household, these numbers become even more alarming.
Another area in which the states have vastly different laws is forfeiture; that is, what happens to the animal after it has been abused? What happens to the abuser, and above all, who gets to decide all of these things? In most cases, the court decides what will happen to the pets of abusers. More often than not, these pets are part of a family, and a lot of states allow for other family members, many times victims themselves, to claim exclusive custody of the pet.
At the same time, the abuser is not allowed to come within a certain distance of that pet. Restrictions for abusers can also include not owning an animal of any kind for a certain amount of time, and not coming within a certain distance of any place where pets are often found. Language is intentionally left vague in some states, as this allows judges to approach each case uniquely and make a recommendation that specifically applies to the case.
Not all states are as proactive towards preventing repeats of incidents. The authority of law enforcement to seize and otherwise protect animals they suspect are suffering abuse could be crucial to preventing further incidents. For example, Wyoming only has specific protections for livestock in this regard, not domestic pets. But laws change constantly, and they for the most part have been moving in the proper direction.
Recently, Nebraska imposed laws that allows for authorities to investigate, obtain search warrants and arrest those they suspect of animal cruelty. This is important because it helps prevent further crimes of violence from happening. It’s startling how often animal abuse coincides with domestic violence, but perhaps even more alarming is that cruelty towards animals serves as a prognosticator of such tragic events.
Research shows that those who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit a violent act against another person. Correlation Between Animal Cruelty and Domestic Abuse A lot of studies show that animal abuse is what’s known as an indicator crime. One survey says that a history of animal abuse was found in 30 percent of convicted child molesters and 36 percent of domestic violence offenders.
The propensity of animal abuse and domestic violence is particularly troubling, because 64 percent of homes with children under the age of six have a pet. Research has shown that 48 percent of convicted rapists admit to committing acts of cruelty against animals during their childhood. This is one reason why psychological testing could be so important. Currently, 3 of the 5 states ranked as the worst for animal protection by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) do not require psychological testing be done on those arrested or convicted of animal cruelty.
Overall, there are 19 states that fail to have this requirement. It is very noticeable how strong the connection is between the worst states and those without psychological testing. There are efforts being made to curb the frequency of these tragic circumstances. One of those efforts is that more than half the states now include protective order legislation for animals in domestic violence situations.
This means that a victim of such violence can be guaranteed that any domestic pets in the household will be given the exact same protections under law that the human gets. It’s extremely important that such a provision exist, because studies show that domestic violence victims will sometimes stay in the abusive relationship because they fear for the pet’s safety. While no one can argue the benefits of a program which allow ex-convicts, or sometimes even those currently behind bars, to use and own therapy dogs, these need to be examined closely from one person to the next.
Not allowing a convict with a violent past to own a pet is another thing that could help. Research shows that up to 70 percent of animal abusers have a criminal record, most with a violent act towards humans. One thing that could also help curtail, not just animal abuse but it’s happening alongside domestic violence, is all states requiring abuse be reported by veterinarians. Currently there are 15 states without specific provisions that call for said reporting, and allowing this could not only alleviate some of the burden from the victims themselves, but bring them peace of mind in knowing that there are many upon whom they can rely in a time of crisis.