There are a variety of steroids that exist today. Steroids can be made from both plant and animal chemicals. One specific type of steroid, which is chemically manufactured to resemble the male sex hormone testosterone, is the anabolic-adrenergic steroid. This type of steroid is abused frequently – usually by people who are involved in sports or who want to increase their muscle mass. They use this type of steroid to increase the size and strength of their muscles and to make them feel more competitive and enthusiastic. Some athletes also feel that anabolic-adrenergic steroids help to increase their sex drive. Steroids can be taken by mouth in pill form or injected with a needle.
There are many side effects and risks involved with taking anabolic-adrenergic steroids. Mentally, they can cause feelings of aggression, impatience, and mood swings.
There are also many physical side effects that occur with taking anabolic-adrenergic steroids. These side effects differ between men and women. Men who use anabolic-adrenergic steroids often experience breast development, shrinking of testicles, decreased sperm count, and impotence. Women who take them often take on more masculine characteristics. Their voices deepen, they grow more hair on their face and body, and sometimes have problems bearing children. Also, teenagers who take anabolic-adrenergic steroids may experience stunted growth and may never reach their full height.
Other major side effects of anabolic-adrenergic steroids include liver and kidney damage, hardening of arteries, nosebleeds, headaches, stomach aches, increased blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Those who inject steroids also run the risk of contracting hepatitis B, C and/or AIDS if they share needles with others.
CAMH: Do You Know… Anabolic Steroids
National Institute on Drug Abuse