What are anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids are a type of drug which is closely related to male testosterone. Another name for them is anabolic-androgenic steroids. Athletes and body builders often illegally use this drug in order to increase muscle mass and overall physical performance. There are a number of negative consequences which may arise as a result of steroid use including heart attack, shrinkage of testicles in men, breast reduction in women, and acne. Risks are often higher in drugs obtained illegally. Today, all major sports associations (in a variety of countries) have banned the use of anabolic steroids.

This type of drug can also be taken legally through a prescription. Doctors prescribe these steroids to men who do not produce enough of the hormone testosterone, to those who are experiencing anemia, or as a way of reducing swelling.

How are anabolic steroids used?

Anabolic steroid can be injected, taken orally through pills, rubbed on through creams and gels, or be used in the form of a skin patch. Injection is the most common form of administration and is typically done through the muscle of the body. In serious cases of abuse, up to 100 times the recommended medical amount can be taken. When a person takes two or more different type of anabolic steroids at a time they are taking part in “stacking”, a practice meant to increase muscular mass at a faster rate.

When anabolic steroids are used by those in the medical field, these drugs are used to prevent bone loss, increase levels of testosterone in those with low amounts, help those with cancer, assist in the process of puberty, encourage eating, and help those with liver problems. If someone uses anabolic steroids illegally they typically use them to increase muscle mass (which may also improve physical appearance), reduce the amount of fat in the body, and improve sports performance. Illegal steroids are typically taken by sports players, teens, and body builders but can also be taken by females and business men.

What are the effects of anabolic steroids?

The effects of steroids are proven to be very harmful, and although beginning physical effects may seem worth the risk, internal damage associated with these drugs can be irreversible. Drug treatment centers have proven effective in treating users of anabolic steroids and many offer specialized treatment programs to promote a full recovery. Long-term effects of steroid use include:

  • cancer
  • depression
  • liver disease
  • tumors in the kidneys and liver
  • jaundice
  • heart complications
  • AIDS/ HIV

Are anabolic steroids addictive?

Some studies have suggested that addiction can take place in someone taking anabolic steroids. Those with such an addiction may have difficulty stopping use of steroids and may crave the drug the more its use continues. Also, when someone addicted to steroids finally ceases using it, they experience pain similar to withdrawal pains of other drug types.

If you or someone you know thinks that they may have a problem with Anabolic Steroids click here for more information. 

Adapted from Casa Palmera’s How Anabolic Steroids Alter Both Men And Women: http://www.casapalmera.com/articles/types-symptoms-and-effects-of-anabolic-steroid-use/