Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone that are taken to build muscle, enhance performance, and improve appearance. The drug’s anabolic or “muscle-building” effects help the body retain protein, a necessary building block for the growth of muscles, bones, and skin. The androgenic effects causes the development of a deep voice, facial and body hair, muscle mass, and aggressiveness.

Are steroids illegal?
Steroids are illegal to possess without a prescription from a licensed physician. It is illegal for individuals to sell steroids.

How are steroids used?
Steroids may be injected or taken by popping a pill. Individuals abusing steroids take huge doses (hundreds of milligrams) per day. Individuals take steroids in cycles. They do this for 6-12 weeks. Sometimes steroid users will take a short break. They dose this so they don’t build up a tolerance level.

Why put yourself in danger?
Steroids can cause a lot of different health problems, ranging from mild to severe to mild. People have died from using steroids. Other side effects include:

  • dizziness
  • mood swings, including anger, aggression, and depression
  • extreme feelings of mistrust or fear (paranoia)
  • problems sleeping
  • vomiting
  • high blood pressure that can damage the heart or blood vessels over time
  • aching joints
  • jaundice or yellowing of the skin and liver damage
  • increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer
  • aggressiveness
  • acne
  • for men, shrinking of the testicles, baldness, development of breasts, increased risk for prostate cancer
  • for women, growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, changes in menstrual cycle, deepened voice.