NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Anabolic Steroids in Medicine


Doctors never prescribe anabolic steroids for building muscle in young, healthy people. (Try push-ups instead!) But doctors sometimes prescribe anabolic steroids to treat some types of anemia or disorders in men that prevent the normal production of testosterone.

You may have heard that doctors sometimes prescribe steroids to reduce swelling. This is true, but these aren’t anabolic steroids. They’re corticosteroids.

Since corticosteroids don’t build muscles the way that anabolic steroids do, people don’t abuse them.

Steroids True or False

  1. Anabolic steroids can affect the hypothalamus and the limbic region of the brain. (True)
  2. Anabolic steroids strengthen the immune system. (False)
  3. Anabolic steroids can cause males' breasts to grow and females' breasts to shrink. (True)