Points to Remember
- Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone.
- Health care providers can prescribe steroids to treat various medical conditions. But some athletes and bodybuilders misuse these drugs to boost performance or improve their physical appearance.
- People who abuse anabolic steroids usually take them orally, inject them into the muscles, or apply them to the skin with a cream or gel.
- People misuse steroids in a variety of doses and schedules.
- Misuse of anabolic steroids might lead to short-term effects, including paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability and aggression, delusions, impaired judgement, and mania.
- Continued steroid misuse can act on some of the same brain pathways and chemicals that are affected by other drugs, including dopamine, serotonin, and opioid systems.
- Anabolic steroid misuse might lead to serious long-term, even permanent, health problems.
- Several other effects are gender- and age-specific.
- People who inject steroids increase their risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.
- Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction.
- Some people seeking treatment for anabolic steroid addiction have found behavioral therapy and medications to be helpful. Medicines can help treat symptoms of withdrawal in some cases.
For additional information about anabolic steroids, visit:
- Steroids and Other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs Research Report
- Steroid Prevention Programs for High School Athletes: Athletes Training & Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS)(link is external)
- NIDA for Teens Drug Facts on Steroids, Anabolic – Offers resources for teens and teen influencers. Get the latest on how drugs affect the brain and body. Features videos, games, blog posts, and more!