Anabolic steroids, the synthetic derivatives of testosterone (a potent androgenic male sex hormone), are one of the most extensively used drugs today. However, the magnitude of steroid abuse is more than the genuine medical use of steroids. Medically, anabolic steroids are used for treating hypogonadism, delayed puberty, and some types of impotence. They are also used against several chronic wasting diseases, such as AIDS and Cancer.
Anabolic steroids are very widely abused drugs nowadays. These steroids are extensively used as performance enhancing drugs. They are often used to enhance strength and stamina. Steroids are widely abused by professional bodybuilders, weightlifters, athletes, jocks, muscle-building enthusiasts, young boys, girls, and even teenagers.
Approximately 1.9% of young adults (ages 1928) surveyed in 2005 reported lifetime use of steroids. The 2006 Monitoring the Future Study findings revealed that 1.6% of eighth graders, 1.8% of tenth graders, and 2.7% of twelfth graders reported using steroids at least once in their lifetime. The study surveyed the students in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades, and divulged stunning facts regarding the ease by which one can obtain steroids.
According to the study, 17.1% of eighth graders, 30.2% of tenth graders, and 41.1% of twelfth graders surveyed in 2006 reported that steroids were “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain. The study furthermore revealed that 60.2% of twelfth graders surveyed reported that using steroids was a “great risk” during 2006.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also conducts studies n the high school students throughout the United States, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). According to the CDC study conducted in 2005, nearly 5% of all high school students surveyed by CDC in 2005 reported lifetime use of steroid pills/shots without a doctor’s prescription.
However, the abuse or overuse of anabolic steroids is often linked with a wide range of adverse side effects. Some of the side effects associated with anabolic steroids include physically unattractiveness severe acne and breast development in men, heart attacks, and elevated cholesterol levels, and risk of contracting or transmitting hepatitis or HIV. Steroids can also cause increased irritability and aggression. Anabolic steroids also have withdrawal symptoms, which include mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, and depression.