Anabolic steroids, also called androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS), known since the 1930-ies. They are prescription drugs that mimic the action of male hormone testosterone.
Very often anabolic steroids are used unlawfully, regardless of in what form they are presented, whether aqueous or oily solution for injections, tablets, capsules, sublingually (sublingual) tablets, liquid forms, subdermal implants, transdermal patches, creams or gels for direct application to the skin – they are applied to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance. Drugs differ in form and names depending on the specific manufacturer. In the case of use for the above purposes, anabolic steroids can cause serious mental and psychological negative consequences, including a potential dependence.
Persons suffering from dependence on steroids, usually resorting to the use of oral intramuscularly (injection) or transdermal (those that are applied directly to the skin) forms. Such dosages may need to exceed the recommended therapeutic or other medical advice 10-100 times.
Many consumers of steroids simultaneously use two drugs, as read, that way is possible to achieve greater efficiency with minimum side effects. Some professional athletes, as well as teenagers of both sexes use anabolic steroids because of their quick actions similar to testosterone.
Anabolic steroids help to increase muscle mass and improve strength, making their customers more attractive in the eyes of a certain part of the population. They can also help to significantly reduce the amount of fat in the body, thereby giving the person a feeling of euphoria and raising self-esteem. Some even believe that this kind of drugs makes them more attractive to the opposite sex, thereby weakening the sense of inferiority.
The term "anabolic" determines the ability of steroids to build muscle. The term "androgen" emphasizes their role in the programming of the typical features of male behavior.
Anabolic steroids have a number of quite specific medical indications and in some cases can be prescribed by doctors for the treatment of anemia, or insufficient production of testosterone. But doctors should not, and will never prescribe anabolic steroids to young healthy people who want to increase muscle mass. So, buy anabolic steroids, like any potent pharmacological substances, without a doctor's prescription is illegal and may lead to serious problems.
The most common anabolic steroids on the market are: Andro, oxandrin, Dianabol, Winstrol, DECA-Durabolin and equipoise. In the jargon they are called: "juice", "RAID", "Kachkovsky candy", "pampery", "stackers" and so on.
According to the DEA (the Department for control over traffic drugs) in the United States: "Anabolic steroids are included in Section III of the List of Controlled Substances". Only a small number of anabolic steroids approved for use in veterinary or in humans. Steroids can be prescribed by a doctor with a valid license for the treatment of insufficient production of its own anabolic hormones, delayed puberty, lack of red blood cells, breast cancer and loss of muscle mass due to AIDS".
According to the medical dictionary Medilexicon: "a Chemical compound with androgenic properties that increases muscle mass and stimulates the production of the protein; sometimes used by athletes in an attempt to increase the size, strength, and muscle endurance. Examples include methyltestosterone, nandrolone, methandrostenolone, and stanozolol".
Anabolic steroids – abuse and dependence
Anabolic steroids usually are manufactured by large pharmaceutical companies for further use as a prescription drugs. Many countries have very strict laws in terms of the fight against the illegal use of pharmacology. Unfortunately, partly just because of these strict laws, some steroids are manufactured illegally in home mini-labs, usually from the "dirty" raw materials imported from abroad. As in the case of smuggling of narcotic drugs, carriage involves organized criminal groups.
Anabolic steroids, like other illegal drugs, can lead to quick razbitiy addiction. Some people who use steroids, think it's a good and fast way to become healthy, strong and athletic. It is a myth. Taking anabolic steroids is a dangerous form of drug.
First, when a person begins taking steroids, he quickly produced a tolerance to them, so he needs each time larger and larger doses to achieve the best results or continue to improve your appearance. Some young people can also begin to experience a strong dependence on these drugs. In addition, increased aggression is a side effect of taking steroids.
Surprisingly, the dependence on steroids are most often observed among young people aged 18-20 years. Many of those who use steroids, are beginning to recognize that dependent on the pharmacology, when you realize that consume increasing dosages despite the presence of distinct health problems and difficulties in communicating with other people.
When someone is experiencing addiction to steroids decides to stop using them, he is faced with numerous side withdrawal effects of these drugs such as: depression, mood swings, tiredness, constant state of arousal, anxiety, problems with concentration, insomnia, anorexia, headaches, pain in muscles and joints, loss of appetite, decreased sex drive, and constant thirst for any new dose steroids.
Depression is one of the most dangerous side effects: in some cases, her attacks can be very severe and even trigger a suicide attempt. In the absence of treatment some of the symptoms of depression can be observed even one year after discontinuation of steroids.
Researches believe that only in the United States, anabolic steroids are used not by appointment from 1 to 3 million people (1% of the population). Typical consumers are young heterosexual male, aged about 25 years, belonging to middle class. About 78.4 per cent of them, according to one study, use drugs in a purely cosmetic reasons – they are neither bodybuilders or athletes.
The number of persons who use steroids, among 12-17 year olds increased by 25 percent between 1999 and 2000, 20% of them claim that the use of pharmacology in order to have a more sporty look.
What are the side effects of taking steroids?
Side effects are very diverse; much depends on dosage, duration of use and type of drug used. Each case is different – some side effects are more pronounced, others less.
Side effects from the body
The main consequences of steroid abuse by teenagers are premature stop of growth, too early ending of development of the skeleton and accelerated puberty. In other words, the teenagers who are fond of steroids, you risk to remain forever stunted.
Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, found that people who use steroids, the left ventricle – the main cavity of the heart responsible for pumping blood – was significantly weaker when performing reductions, compared to those who did not use pharmacological drugs.
Other negative consequences of taking steroids for the body include the following:
- changes in the structure of heart tissues resulting in heart attacks, "sudden cardiac death" and the emergence of arrhythmia. Sometimes even possible death from cardiac arrest
- the occurrence of blood clots
- cardiovascular disease
- lowering the level of HDL ("good" cholesterol) and increase LDL ("bad" cholesterol). Researchers from San Francisco VA Medical Center in their study indicated that taking anabolic steroids can lead not only to decreased levels of HDL and lowering LDL, but also significantly increase the risk of liver toxicity after 12 weeks of regular supplementation
- fluid retention in the tissues
- high blood pressure
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin, other tissues and body fluids)
- liver damage
- nausea and vomiting
- the oiliness of the hair
- constant bad breath
- trouble falling asleep
- a severe form of acne
- swelling of the lower extremities
Special side effects that occur in men:
- decrease the size of testicles
- reducing the number of sperm and reduce its quality
- gynecomastia (fat deposits in the chest area)
- increased risk of prostate cancer
Special side effects that occur in women:
- if a woman is pregnant, the medication could affect fetal development
- change in menstrual cycle
- clitoral enlargement
- the growth of facial hair
- increase in sexual desire
- male-pattern baldness
- decrease in tone of voice
- a severe form of acne
- decrease in breast size
Side effects of psychiatric disorder and behavior
As with other negative effects of steroids to the body, much will depend on the type of drug used.
Aggressive behavior and mood swings: temper tantrums in response to ordinary everyday problems, anger issues can be extremely pronounced. Also, frequent mood swings, including manic symptoms that can lead to bouts of violence. Aggressive behavior and unstable mood are the place to be for the reason that steroids affect the limbic system of the brain responsible for mood and memory.
- Forgetfulness and absent-mindedness: people who use steroids can become extremely forgetful and inattentive. Sometimes they can get into a very awkward position and, thus, will not be aware that acting weird and stupid.
- Depression: both men and women who use steroids may feel great and very proud of their appearance. But they can dramatically change your mind, if you happen to see someone who, in their opinion, looks better than they do. This may provoke a tantrum, then accompanied by depression. This first sign of depression is extremely important, because its presence indicates the development of dependence. The response includes increasing the dose of steroids and the number of hours spent in the gym. Depression, in some cases, can even be life-threatening.
- Hallucinations and fantasies Side effect that many users of steroids. Being an addict, the person begins to believe that other people stare at him and constantly evaluated his appearance. It's quite a strong effect on the psyche, giving rise to conflicts in family relationships, with friends and at work.
Detect the use of steroids in professional sports
Leading the organization of various sports around the world agreed that using steroids during competitions should be prohibited. The world anti-Doping Agency (WADA) continually updates and publishes the list of prohibited for use in sport substances. This list also includes steroids and their precursors.
Many countries, working together with WADA, have also created their own internal regulatory organization for oversight to ensure that sports competitions were held on the basis of justice and fair play sportsmanship. When people begin to use steroids, it gives them a significant advantage over those who train honestly and does not resort to pharmacology. In other words, in addition to negative consequences for health and mind, steroids are also the most natural form of cheating.
The most common detection methods for taking steroids are the blood and urine. Modern urine tests can tell was used or not people steroids for the last 30 days.
Prevention of steroid abuse
In the United States there are a number of organizations, such as ATLAS or ATHENA that have developed very effective programs to prevent steroid abuse by athletes of school age.
Basically, these organizations practice of holding "round tables" for students on these topics. The debates going on between the coaches and captains of young sports teams. Students:
- tell about harm of the use of anabolic steroids
- explain how you need to formulate a rejection when you offer to try drugs or pharmacological agents on the street or in the gym
- teach the correct ways to build strength, stamina and health without the use of steroids, but with the help of a proper dietary habits, use of competent training techniques, talk about the importance of good sleep and so on.
The researchers believe that such work will help to reduce the number of new users of steroids, at least 50 percent.