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Teens and Steroids

Drugs & Teen Substance Abuse

More Information on Steroids

Counseling & Therapy  -  Self-Help & Support Groups



Anabolic steroids are a group of powerful compounds closely related to the male sex hormone testosterone.


They're also known as 

roids, juice, hype, or pump.


Anabolic (and androgenic) steroids are man-made substances related to male sex hormones.  'Anabolic' refers to muscle-building ('androgenic' refers to increased masculine characteristics).  'Steroids' refers to the class of drugs.


These drugs are available legally only by prescription, to treat conditions that occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence.  They are also prescribed to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass.


Anabolic steroids are manufactured legally or illegally outside the United States and smuggled in, usually through the mail; manufactured legally and diverted to the black market; or manufactured illegally in the United States.  Many substances sold as anabolic steroids are diluted, contaminated, or simply fake.


Today, individuals abuse anabolic steroids to enhance performance and also to improve physical appearance.  Anabolic steroids are taken orally or injected, typically in cycles of weeks or months (referred to as “cycling”), rather than continuously.  Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. In addition, users often combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects (referred to as “stacking”).


Signs of Steroid Use

  • Quick weight and muscle gains (when used in a weight training program) 

  • Aggressiveness and combativeness

  • Jaundice

  • Purple or red spots on the body

  • Swelling of feet and lower legs

  • Trembling

  • Unexplained darkening of the skin

  • Persistent unpleasant breath odor

  • Severe acne breakouts and oily skin




Effects of Steroid Use


Taken in combination with a program of muscle-building exercise and diet, steroids may contribute to increases in body weight and muscular strength. 


Steroid users subject themselves to more than 70 side effects ranging in severity from liver cancer to acne and including psychological as well as physical reactions.  The liver and cardiovascular and reproductive systems are most seriously affected by steroid use. 


Psychological effects in both sexes include very aggressive behavior known as "roid rage" and depression.


Health consequences include:

  • In boys and men, reduced sperm production, shrinking of the testicles, impotence, difficulty or pain in urinating, baldness, and irreversible breast enlargement (gynecomastia).

  • In girls and women, development of more masculine characteristics, such as decreased body fat and breast size, deepening of the voice, excessive growth of body hair, and loss of scalp hair, as well as clitoral enlargement.

  • In adolescents of both sexes, premature termination of the adolescent growth spurt, so that for the rest of their lives, abusers remain shorter than they would have been without the drugs.

  • In males and females of all ages, potentially fatal liver cysts and liver cancer; blood clotting, cholesterol changes, and hypertension, each of which can promote heart attack and stroke; and acne.  Although not all scientists agree, some interpret available evidence to show that anabolic steroid abuse- - particularly in high doses -- promotes aggression that can manifest itself as fighting, physical and sexual abuse, armed robbery, and property crimes such as burglary and vandalism.  Upon stopping anabolic steroids, some abusers experience symptoms of depressed mood, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, headache, muscle and joint pain, and the desire to take more anabolic steroids.

  • In injectors, infections resulting from the use of shared needles or non-sterile equipment, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and infective endocarditis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart.  Bacterial infections can develop at the injection site, causing pain and abscess.

While some side effects appear quickly, others -- such as heart attacks and strokes -- may not show up for years.  A pregnant woman who takes steroids risks harm to her unborn child.  Ligaments and tendons may be more easily injured, and these injuries may take longer to heal.



Effects of Steroids on Men




More Information on Steroids


Anabolic Steroid Abuse ~ Information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Aspartame, Creatine, and Athletics: A Fatal Combination ~ Idiopathic sudden death has risen from a rare occurrence, to one of the most common causes of death in the US since the marketing of Aspartame and the arrival of the current craze of using creatine to increase athletic performance and burn fat.


Chemical Warfare: The Danger of Anabolic Steroids ~ Links to articles and news reports on steroids and bodybuilding supplements.


How To Spot a Steroid User ~ Should you suspect your child, sibling, or friend of using anabolic steroids, you can look for a variety of short-term side effects that appear as symptoms.  These include visible changes in appearance, mood and behavior.  This information will make it easier for you to identify the specific symptoms, changes and habits of a steroid user.


Image-Conscious Teens Prone to Supplement Use ~ Peer pressure and media images of buff bodies may be driving a growing number of teenagers to turn to potentially dangerous supplements to bulk up their bodies and improve their body image.


Kids on steroids willing to risk it all for success ~ Users say they'd take drugs to excel even it shortened their lives.


Many Teen Girls Use Steroids ~ Self-image, not sports, is the motivation.


More Male Than Male ~ Research is confirming the relationship between steroids and aggression, while raising questions about the long-term psychological consequences of teen-age steroid abuse.


A sad and revealing tale of teen steroid use ~ While steroid use among high-schoolers seems to be declining, it is still estimated that 3 to 6 percent of students in the United States have tried them.  That means that, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of high school students are using.  This is one teen's story.


The Secret Edge: Steroids in High Schools ~ After four months of investigation, The Dallas Morning News began publishing stories about steroid use among high school students in Texas.  Reporters found that although the drugs are illegal to use without a prescription, they are readily available and commonly used by teenagers desperate for athletic fame or a chiseled physique.  This ongoing special report takes readers inside this world, beginning with the story of steroid use among football players at one affluent high school.


Self-Image: The Fantasy, The Reality ~ In the Mix digs deep into the American obsession with body image, which is driving teens to diet, use steroids, develop dangerous eating disorders and create a lifelong cycle of low self-esteem.


Sports, Unhealthy Weight Control and Steroid Use in Teens ~ Participation in sports with real or perceived weight requirements, such as ballet, gymnastics, and wrestling, is strongly associated with unhealthy weight control behaviors and steroid use in teens.


Steroid Abuse in Today's Society ~ This guide will help you understand why steroids are being abused, and how you can educate athletes and others about the dangers of these drugs. This guide also discusses the dangerous medical effects of illegal use of steroids on health.


Steroid Addiction - A Risk for Young Athletes ~ Withdrawal from high doses of steroids have been linked to suicidal thoughts and behavior.


Taylor Hooton Foundation ~ Fighting steroid abuse and performance-enhancing drug use by America's youth through evaluation, education, and elimination.  Read Taylor Hooton's story.



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