Most anabolic steroids are synthetic substances similar to the male sex hormone testosterone. They are taken orally or are injected. Some people, especially athletes, abuse anabolic steroids to build muscle and enhance performance. Abuse of anabolic steroids can lead to serious health problems, some of which are irreversible.
Juice, gym candy, pumpers, stackers
Major effects of steroid abuse can include liver damage; jaundice; fluid retention; high blood pressure; increases in "bad" cholesterol. Also, males risk shrinking of the testicles, baldness, breast development, and infertility. Females risk growth of facial hair, menstrual changes, male-pattern baldness, and deepened voice. Teens risk permanently stunted height, accelerated puberty changes, and severe acne. All users, but particularly those who inject the drug, risk infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Statistics and Trends
The NIDA-funded 2010 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 0.5% of 8th graders, 1.0% of 10th graders, and 1.5% of 12th graders had abused anabolic steroids at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: Monitoring the Future (University of Michigan Web Site).
- NIDA for Teens: Anabolic Steroids
- Message From the Director: Consequences of the Abuse of Anabolic Steroids
- ATLAS (Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids - for men) - (Oregon Health and Science University Web Site)
- ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives - for women) - (Oregon Health and Science University Web Site)
Get more information on K2/Spice, Salvia and Bath Salts. NIDA will update this page with the latest research findings on these and other emerging drugs as they develop.
Looking for Treatment?
Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator or 1-800-662-HELP.
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.