What Are Anabolic Steroids?
“Anabolic steroids” is the familiar name for synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids, “anabolic” referring to muscle-building and “androgenic” referring to increased male sexual characteristics.
Anabolic steroids can be legally prescribed to treat conditions resulting from steroid hormone deficiency, such as delayed puberty, as well as diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. Some athletes take steroids in the hopes that they will improve their ability to run faster, hit farther, lift heavier weights, jump higher, or have more endurance.
Using anabolic steroids may have many serious and sometimes irreversible side effects. These side effects are due to abnormally high levels of testosterone in the body and may include high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, liver damage, heart failure, acne, baldness, as well as aggressive and violent behavior. This violent behavior is often called Roid Rage.
Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, steroids are reinforcing and can lead to addiction.