Competitive athletes and body builders, of both sexes may be tempted to boost their phys.11prowess by using anabolic steroids. These compounds are chemically distinct from the corticosteroids (for example, prednisone) prescribed by physicians to treat allergic reactions, asthma, and many other conditions, While some forms of anabolic steroids are available treat specific medical problems, prescribing them athletic or bodybuilding purposes is illegal. Anabolic steroids are readily available too, through underground sources. Abusers of these may “stack” them (take more than one type at once and utilize “pyramiding” (increasing the dose, sometimes to massive levels, over time). Their effects include rapid muscle growth, increased strength, and endurance in longer and more vigorous workouts. In the long run, there are numerous drawbacks for both men and women.
Male users may develop acne, reduction in size roll and function of the testicles, impotence, purplish skin, and male-pattern baldness. Women may develop a permanently low-pitched voice, thinning hair around the temples, enlargement of the clitoris, striae, and increased facial hair. Adolescent users may retard their growth or end it prematurely, resulting in a shorter stature than they would have otherwise attained. All users risk liver disease, elevated blood pressure, and heart disease. In addition, aggressive behavior, imparted judgment, abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and in some cases significant psychiatric disturbances including losing touch with reality may be associated with the use of anabolic steroids.
School programs are now more actively address the issues surrounding steroid abuse. Adolescent stems abuse should be taken as seriously as any other illicit drug problem. A medical evaluation and ongoing counseling should be carried out to address dependency withdrawal symptoms, and the underlying causes of drug-seeking behavior.