Anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids

Some of my body-conscious friends say that they are using anabolic steroids, what are they?

Anabolic steroids are prescription-only drugs. They are abused for their potential to increase body weight and muscle mass. There is a trade in these drugs amongst body builders and athletes. They come in tablet or injectable form and are usually used as a six to eight week course.

My friends say that anabolic steroids are not harmful but what are the effects?

The user feels an increase in aggression allowing them to train harder. They also increase muscle bulk and strength.

Dependence

Physical dependence does not occur but psychological dependence may, as users describe that they feel depressed and lethargic after stopping their use. Athletes may also be unable to face up to poor athletic performance after stopping their use.

Is the use of anabolic steroids dangerous?

Long-term use can lead to liver and kidney damage, high blood pressure (which can cause stroke) and impaired growth in young people. Repeated use may lead to sterility and impotence in men and masculinisation in women.

Psychotic symptoms can occur and ‘steroid aggression’ has been reported, and has been used as a defence in court. Some of the steroid tablets available are in fact manufactured for use in animals. Education of young people is needed to discourage their use.

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