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Bigger, Stronger, Faster

CastChristopher Bell, Mark Bell, Mike Bell, Christian Boeving
Year released2008
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Challenges the myth that anabolic steroids cause suicide, brain tumors and other serious problems, while revealing the disagreement over the dangers among physicians, the hipocrasy in societal attitudes toward steroids and other types of drugs used for arguably similar purposes, and the exploitation of the issue by politicians. Reveals the fine line between treatment of illness and enhancement of performance as well as the pseudo-legitimate prescription for so-called hormone deficiencies. And takes a shot at the huge and largely unregulated supplement business.

The filmmaker begins with the story of how his and his own brothers' emulation of their heroes Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, said to have used anabolic steroids, led them into body building and ultimately use of the drugs themselves (0:10).

One brother becomes the professional wrestler Mad Dog, lists other drugs he used: pot, cocaine, ecstasy, and others (0:12), and describes trying to kill himself by overdosing and walking into a river (0:13)

Use of anabolic steroids by Olympic athletes: introduced (0:24); runner Carl Lewis tested positive for pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine (0:55)

Notion of steroids as killer drugs: introduced (0:25); comparison to death caused by other drugs (0:27)

Other adverse effects: claims of personality change and violent rage (scenes with injection 0:32); suicide, hallucinations, paranoia, "'roid rage" in news (0:33); actual side effects listed (0:35); association with other risky behaviors (0:36);

Doctors talk about anabolic steroids: introduction and beneficial medical uses (0:26); compares exaggeration of adverse effects to those related to marijuana in the film Reefer Madness (0:28); side effects (0:31)

Didactic differentiating anabolic steroids from others (0:34)

Anabolic steroid control act passed in 1990 (0:38).

Story of Taylor Hooton who became depressed (1:03) and killed himself after a psychiatrist told him to stop using steroids and prescribed escitalopram (1:01). Doubt about the cause of his suicide (1:04)

Absence of criticism of use of other drugs for performance enhancement: human growth hormone (1:23); beta blockers for performance anxiety for musicians and other performers despite potential for competitive advantage; use of psychostimulants by students and fighter pilots (1:26)

Psychiatrist Harrison Pope talks about evolution of ideal body image of men with implications for steroid use (1:15)

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