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Anabolic Steroids

During the 1930s, scientists discovered that anabolic steroids could facilitate the growth of skeletal muscle in laboratory animals; thus leading to the use of these compounds first by bodybuilders and weightlifters and then by athletes in other sports. Anabolic steroid abuse has become so widespread in athletics that it has been reported to affect the outcome of sports contests, including the Olympics. Most steroids that are used illegally are smuggled in from other countries and then illegally diverted from pharmacies that are located in the United States, or synthesized in clandestine laboratories. Anabolic steroids are derivatives of the male hormone, testosterone; these drugs promote the growth of skeletal muscle and increase lean body mass. Athletes and some individuals in the general population use steroids illegally in order to enhance performance and to enhance muscle growth. The most common means of ingesting anabolic steroids is by taking them orally or by injection. Street names for anabolic steroids can include Roids, Rocket fuel, Sauce, Arnolds, Gym Candy, Pumpers, Stackers, Weight Trainers, or Juice.

The adverse effects of anabolic steroids can include baldness, acne and the development of breast in men, and breast reduction and deepening of the voice, in women; both sexes can experience swelling of the feet and ankles, aching joints, bad breath, mood swings, nervousness and trembling. Because anabolic steroid use disrupts the normal production of hormones in the body, irreversible changes can take place when an individual abuses these drugs. Anabolic steroid abuse has commonly been associated with cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes; these have been reported to occur in athletes that are under the age of 30. Oral anabolic steroids have been reported to increase the risk of atherosclerosis, which is a condition that disrupts blood flow in the heart; this can lead to a deadly heart attack. Anabolic steroids also cause a wide array of behavioral effects, including mood swings, distractibility, forgetfulness, and confusion.

Many people underestimate the dangers that are so commonly reported to be associated with anabolic steroid use. These drugs, particularly when taken in high doses, have been reported to increase irritability and aggression; many anabolic steroid users have reported committing aggressive acts, such as physical fighting, armed robbery or using force in order to obtain something that they wanted. Other anabolic steroid users have reported committing property crimes, such as breaking into businesses or houses, or damaging or destroying property, while being under the influence of these potent drugs. A large majority of anabolic steroid abusers become addicted to the drugs, as evidenced by their continuing to take steroids in spite of physical problems, negative effects on social relations, and experiencing extreme nervousness and irritability.

Individuals who abuse anabolic steroids can exhibit signs such as mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, and steroid cravings; some of these symptoms may contribute to the need for continued anabolic steroid use. By far, the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms of anabolic steroid use is depression, as when this condition is persistent, it can sometimes lead to suicide.