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Steroids

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What do they look like?

Steroids come in tablets or liquid form. Also comes in capsules, gels, creams and patches.

How are they used?

Anabolic steroids are taken orally, applied to the skin or injected, and athletes and other abusers take them typically in cycles of weeks or months, rather than continuously, in patterns called cycling. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. In addition, users frequently combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects, a process known as stacking.

What are its short-term effects?

Although anabolic androgenic steroids may increase lean muscle mass, strength, and the ability to train longer and harder, the serious side effects of steroids are many and may not be reversible. The minor side effects of steroid use include acne, oily skin, excess hair growth, and deepening of the voice. The major side effects of steroid use include an increased risk of cancer, increased risk of heart and liver disease, jaundice, fluid retention, reduction in HDL-C (“good cholesterol”), high blood pressure, changes in blood coagulation, increased risk of atherosclerosis

Side effects specific to men can include testicular atrophy or the shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, and the development of breasts. For women, side effects can include enlargement of the clitoris, changes in the body contour growth of facial hair, disruption of the menstrual cycle, deepened voice.

An increase in androgenic (male) hormones may also lead to aggressive behavior. Research also indicates that steroid users often suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.

What are its long-term effects?

Adolescents who abuse steroids are at a significant risk of suffering irreversible side effects, including stunted growth, accelerated puberty changes and abnormal sexual development.

What is its federal classification?

Schedule  III

[Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)]

Related Content:

Get the Facts about Health Risks from Steroids, Stimulants and HGH at Play Healthy.

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