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Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that help with the growth and repair of muscle tissue. They imitate the male sex hormone, testosterone. There are legitimate medical uses for anabolic steroids. Doctors prescribe them to treat hormonal problems such as delayed puberty in males or loss of muscle caused by diseases like cancer or HIV.
Anabolic steroids are also misused. People who illegally use anabolic steroids often do so to increase lean muscle mass, reduce fat and speed up recovery from injury. Anabolic steroids can take the form of tablets, capsules or injectable liquids, depending on the brand. Anabolic steroids are classed as performance and image-enhancing drugs PIEDs. According to research, anabolic steroiduse for non-medical purposes is more common in men in their 30s. Other groups who typically use them include:. Once the receptors are stimulated, a domino effect of metabolic reactions takes place as the drug instructs the body to increase muscle tissue production.
Although testosterone is called a male sex hormone, it also occurs naturally in women, but in Strong anabolic steroids smaller amounts. People who use anabolic steroids generally experience an increase in muscle strength very quickly. This generally means that people are able to train more often and for longer periods of time, with improved recovery.
The effects of anabolic steroid use can differ from person to person. Some people may experience:. They may do this to either speed up their physical transformation or counter the side effects of the steroids. The dangers of mixing these drugs aren't fully known.
Some of these other drugs may include:. Anabolic steroids do not cause physical dependence. However, if a person relies on them for their self-esteem and confidence, then giving up can be extremely difficult. The pressure to keep using steroids may result in feelings of anger or depression if their access to steroids is denied, even temporarily.
It can take up to 4 months to restore natural testosterone levels after being on anabolic steroids for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms from steroids can include:.
Treatment options for drug dependence or addiction may include:. See your doctor for information and referral, or contact an alcohol and other drug service in your area. Steriods are only permitted for people with certain medical conditions on prescription by their medical practitioner.
This has been produced in consultation with and approved by:. The size of a standard drink can vary according to the type of alcohol. Amphetamines are psychostimulant drugs that speed up the workings of the brain. Benzodiazepines tranquillisers are highly addictive and should only be used for certain conditions in a short-term or emergency situation. Caffeine is a stimulant that acts on the brain and nervous system.
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All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in Strong anabolic steroids circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website. Home Drugs. Anabolic steroids. Actions for this Listen Print. Summary Read the full fact sheet. On this. What are anabolic steroids?
Who uses anabolic steroids? How anabolic steroids work How anabolic steroids affect the body Side effects of anabolic steroids Long-term effects of anabolic steroids Mixing anabolic steroids with other drugs Dependence on anabolic steroids Withdrawal from anabolic steroids Treatment for anabolic steroid addiction Anabolic steroid use and the law Strong anabolic steroids to get help. Common slang terms for steroids include 'roids', 'gear' and 'juice'. Other groups who typically use them include: Professional athletes and bodybuilders who are involved in competitive sport or who have a strong desire to succeed.
People who work in industries where muscle strength is important — such as security workers, police, construction workers and defence force staff. Young people and adults who are concerned about their body image and want to look muscular to feel good. This may include people who work in the fashion and entertainment industries. Testosterone has two effects on your body: anabolic — maintains bone density, supports muscle growth and speeds up recovery from injury androgenic also known as masculinising — develops and maintains male characteristics such as the penis, testicles, muscle mass, deep voice and facial hair.
How anabolic steroids affect the body People who use anabolic steroids generally experience an increase in muscle strength very quickly. This can often lead to rapid increases in lean muscle tissue. Fluid retention is also common and can lead to muscles looking soft or bloated. Side effects of anabolic steroids The effects of anabolic steroid use can differ from person to person.
Some people may experience: fluid retention also called water retention or oedema difficulty sleeping damage to nerves from injecting steroids irritability, mood swings, aggression or depression increased sex drive libido skin changes — acne Strong anabolic steroids in scarring more colds. Men may experience: testicle and penis shrinkage reduced sperm count erectile dysfunction or impotence prostate problems gynaecomastia breast development baldness patterned hair loss involuntary and long-lasting erection.
Women may experience: irregular menstrual cycle or loss of periods amenorrhoea shrunken breasts deepened voice facial and body hair growth such as hirsutism abnormal growth of the clitoris. Long-term effects of anabolic steroids Anabolic steroids can produce many unpleasant and often permanent side effects, including: damage to the gon testicles or ovaries liver disease malfunctions of the kidneysliver or heart 'roid rage', which is characterised by uncontrollable outbursts of psychotic aggression paranoia and mood swings, including deep depression severe acnewhich can cause scarring high blood cholesterol levels high blood pressure hypertension injuries to tendons that can't keep up with the increased muscle strength delusional feelings of being superhuman or invincible.
Trembling and muscle tremors. Mixing anabolic steroids with other drugs A person who is using anabolic steroids may turn to other supplementary drugs. Some of these other drugs may include: amphetamines — to counteract feelings of deep depression and aid in fat loss beta blockers — to counteract trembling diuretics — to counteract fluid retention human growth hormone — such as human chorionic gonadotrophin HCG to stimulate the body's natural production of testosterone and counteract testicle shrinkage.
Dependence on anabolic steroids Anabolic steroids do not cause physical dependence. Withdrawal from anabolic steroids It can take up to 4 months to restore natural testosterone levels after being on anabolic steroids for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms from steroids can include: fatigue weight loss due to lowered appetite decreased strength depression.
Treatment for anabolic steroid addiction Treatment options for drug dependence or addiction may include: detoxification individual counselling group therapy. Peer support — or talking to someone who has been in the same situation — can also be helpful. Anabolic steroid use and the law In Australia, laws and penalties vary on anabolic steroid use among states and territories. Positive tests can result in fines, suspensions or permanent bans. Anabolic steroidsAlcohol and Drug Foundation Steroid use: What are the real health and social impacts?
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A List of the Major Anabolic Steroids and Everything You Wanted to Know About Them