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Unformatted text preview: What are anabolic steroids? nabolic steroids” is the familiar name for synthetic substances related to the male sex hormones (androgens). They promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects), and also have some other effects. The term “anabolic steroids” will be used through- out this report because of its familiarity, although the proper term for these compounds is “anabolic-androgenic” steroids. Anabolic steroids were devel- oped in the late 1930s primarily to treat hypogonadism, a condi- tion in which the testes do not produce sufficient testosterone for normal growth, development, and sexual functioning. The primary medical uses of these from the director Since the 1950s, some athletes have been taking anabolic steroids to build muscle and boost their athletic performance. Increasingly, other segments of the population also have been taking these com- pounds. The Monitoring the Future study, which is an annual survey of drug abuse among adolescents across the country, showed a signifi- cant increase from 1998 to 1999 in steroid abuse among middle school students. During the same year, the percentage of 12th-graders who believed that taking these drugs causes “great risk” to health, de- clined from 68 percent to 62 percent. Studies show that, over time, anabolic steroids can indeed take a heavy toll on a person’s health. The abuse of oral or injectable steroids is associated with higher risks for heart attacks and strokes, and the abuse of most oral steroids is associ- ated with increased risk for liver problems. Steroid abusers who share needles or use nonsterile techniques when they inject steroids are at risk for contracting dangerous infec- tions, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and bacterial endocarditis. Anabolic steroid abuse can also cause undesirable body changes. These include breast development and genital shrinking in men, masculinization of the body in women, and acne and hair loss in both sexes. These and other effects of steroid abuse are discussed in this Research Report, which is one of a series of reports on drugs of abuse. NIDA produces this series to increase understanding of drug abuse and addiction and the health effects associated with taking drugs. We hope that this compilation of scientific information on anabolic steroids will help the public recog- nize the risks of steroid abuse. Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. Director National Institute on Drug Abuse U . S . D e p a r t m e n t o f H e a l t h a n d H u m a n S e r v i c e s • N a t i o n a l I n s t i t u t e s o f H e a l t h ResearchReport N A T I O N A L I N S T I T U T E O N D R U G A B U S E S E R I E S “ A 1998 2% 4% 2 Lifetime Use (10th-Graders) 1999 70% 50 30 1998 Perceived Risk of Harm (Seniors) 1999 From 1998 to 1999, the Monitoring the Future Survey reported an increase in lifetime use of steroids among 10th-graders and a decrease in perceived risk of harm among seniors....
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- Spring '08
- anabolic steroids, Anabolic steroid, NIDA, steroid abuse