Drug and alcohol helpline


Steroids drink and drugs advice line


Steroids, also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. They are primarily used medically to treat conditions such as delayed puberty, muscle wasting diseases, and hormone deficiencies. However, they are also abused for their potential to enhance athletic performance and muscle growth. Here are some key points about steroids:

  1. Effects on the Body: Steroids have both anabolic (muscle-building) and androgenic (masculinising) effects. The anabolic effects promote muscle growth, increased strength, and improved athletic performance. The androgenic effects can lead to the development of masculine characteristics such as deepening of the voice and facial hair growth.

  2. Misuse and Abuse: Steroid abuse refers to the non-medical use of steroids for purposes such as enhancing physical performance or appearance. Some athletes, bodybuilders, and individuals seeking to improve their physique may misuse steroids by taking them in higher doses or for longer durations than prescribed. This is often done in cycles, where the use of steroids is alternated with periods of abstinence.

  3. Risks and Side Effects: Misuse of steroids can have numerous negative effects on physical and mental health. Short-term side effects may include acne, fluid retention, increased blood pressure, liver damage, and mood swings. Long-term use can lead to more severe complications, such as cardiovascular problems, liver and kidney damage, hormonal imbalances, decreased fertility, and psychiatric disorders.

  4. Dependence and Withdrawal: Prolonged use of steroids can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dose reduction can result in withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, restlessness, mood swings, decreased libido, and depression.

  5. Legal Status: Steroids are classified as controlled substances in many countries, including the United States. Possession, distribution, and non-medical use of steroids without a prescription are illegal and can lead to legal consequences.

It’s important to note that the use of steroids without a prescription or for non-medical purposes is highly discouraged and can have serious health risks. If you or someone you know is struggling with steroid abuse or dependence, seeking professional help from healthcare providers or addiction specialists is recommended. They can provide appropriate guidance, support, and treatment options.

What are the negative effects of Steroids?

Steroids, also known as corticosteroids or anabolic steroids, can have various negative effects on the body. The specific effects can differ depending on the type of steroid used (e.g., corticosteroids prescribed for medical conditions or anabolic steroids used for performance enhancement). Here are some potential negative effects associated with steroid use:

  1. Physical health effects:
  • Increased risk of infections: Steroids can suppress the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Steroids can disrupt the normal balance of hormones in the body, leading to various hormonal problems.
  • Cardiovascular issues: Prolonged steroid use may increase the risk of heart problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.
  • Liver damage: Certain types of oral steroids can cause liver damage or dysfunction.
  • Muscle and tendon injuries: Steroid use can lead to an increased risk of muscle and tendon injuries, including tendon ruptures.
  1. Psychological and emotional effects:
  • Mood swings: Steroid use can cause mood swings, including irritability, aggression, and increased hostility (known as “roid rage”).
  • Depression and anxiety: Some individuals may experience depressive symptoms or heightened anxiety while using steroids.
  • Dependency and addiction: Anabolic steroid misuse can lead to dependency and addiction, characterised by a compulsive need to use steroids despite negative consequences.
  1. Gender-specific effects:
  • For males: Steroid use can cause testicular shrinkage, decreased sperm production, infertility, gynecomastia (enlargement of breast tissue), and hair loss.
  • For females: Steroid use may cause masculinising effects such as deepened voice, increased facial and body hair growth, menstrual irregularities, and clitoral enlargement.

It’s important to note that the negative effects of steroids can vary depending on the dosage, duration of use, individual factors, and the presence of other medical conditions. The misuse or abuse of anabolic steroids for non-medical purposes, such as athletic performance enhancement, carries additional risks.

If you have concerns about steroid use, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide accurate information, guidance, and support based on your specific situation.

Frequently asked question

Q: Are steroids safe for use in bodybuilding or athletic performance enhancement?

A: While steroids may offer certain benefits for muscle growth and performance enhancement, their use for non-medical purposes carries significant risks. Anabolic steroid misuse can lead to a range of negative health effects, including hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular problems, liver damage, and psychological issues. Furthermore, the use of steroids for athletic performance enhancement is considered cheating and is prohibited in most sports organizations. It’s important to prioritise your health and seek safer, legal alternatives for achieving fitness and athletic goals.

Call us now