Facts About Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are substances synthetically made to enhance, basically, male and female growth hormones. Discovered by scientists in the 1930s, it is used to cure certain conditions when gonads fail to produce enough hormones which leads to sexual retardation or simply known as hypogonadism.

The anabolic effects of these steroids are used to aid in the development of the skeletal muscles of the body while the androgenic effects are known for the development of male hormones in both male and females.

This substance is more commonly known as anabolic-androgenic steroids. Supplementary steroids like tetrahydrogestrinone or THG, along with androstenedione were available before for commercial purchasing.

Who uses steroids?

Body builders or weightlifters are the ones who usually take steroids since it aids in the further growth of their muscles. Then it has also been used by athletes themselves who engage in very active and rigorous sports. The fact that it has to be taken as regularly as possible to heighten athletic performance and the thought that it will increase muscle size upon continuous application or intake for weightlifters led to its abuse.

Effects of Steroids

Effects of anabolic steroids are unwanted physiological changes or growth, especially in men, like acne or breasts, while deepening of voices in women. But some are critical like liver cancer or heart attacks.

It has various side-effects, in the skin, the liver, the cardiovascular system, the liver, hormonal system, and the musculoskeletal system. It even leads to the susceptibility on viral diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C.

While some of these effects are reversible, most are not. Apparently, the irreversible effects are the ones considered to be more life-threatening.

Regarding withdrawal symptoms, an individual may experience fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive and mood swings other than craving for the substance itself. Extreme symptoms may often cause depression which often leads to suicide.

How to prevent steroid abuse use

Educational programs have been conducted to teach students with the adverse side effects of the drug.

Other programs funded by NIDA or the National Institute for Drug Abuse like The Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids or ATLAS and the Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives or ATHENA (the latter exclusive for girl athletes in sport teams) have gathered statistical facts regarding the effects of the drug to further their studies on how to mitigate the abuse of steroids.

Moreover, as they have educated participants, most particularly football players under the ATLAS program, manifested signs of decrease in behaviors known to be risky as there has been a reduced the number of addiction and abuse of the drug.