Getting to Know the Harmful Side of Steroids

Steroids, such as cortisone, prednisone and hydrocortisone, are legitimate drugs used to treat medical conditions. Anabolic steroids are drugs that replicate human sex hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone), which are often taken illegally and abused in an effort to alter physical appearance.

When used exactly as prescribed by a doctor, steroids can be helpful in a number of ways. Examples of cases that may lead to a doctor prescribing anabolic steroids can include delayed puberty, cancer and AIDS.

If someone decides to take steroids to the point of substance use and abuse, however, a number of complications can arise. In such cases, steroids abusers are taking from 10 to 100 times more than would normally be prescribed by a doctor to treat a condition or illness.

No Matter What You Call Them…

Steroids are also known by a number of common names, including:

  • steroidsJuice
  • Gym candy
  • Pumpers
  • Arnolds
  • Roids
  • Stackers

There are various side effects that can be noted in both male and female steroid users. These include: stunted growth, hostile and aggressive behavior, severe acne, irritability, high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and high risk of blood clotting. It is also worth noting that different people may experience other effects, depending on their lifestyle and the amount of steroids used.

Additional Risks of Steroid Substance Use and Abuse

Anabolic steroid use in an effort to bulk up is not uncommon among teenage athletes. When improperly used, steroids are harmful and can be especially detrimental to younger people, regardless of gender. Generally those who find themselves at the point of substance use and abuse involving steroids have been chasing the dream of a perfect physique or boosting their sexual performance. User, beware:

  • For males, steroids often cause shrinking of testicles, hair loss, breast growth, and even infertility, plus a heightened risk of testicular cancer.
  • Teenage girls sometimes try steroids as a way to change their body shape, the side effects can include male pattern baldness, voice deepening, breast shrinking and negative changes to the menstrual cycle.
  • One way to take steroids is to inject it straight into the muscles. As drug injection equipment is not guaranteed to be sterile, there is always the threat of contracting diseases such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDs using this method.


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