Drug Classification: Synthetic derivative of testosterone
Drug Schedule: III
Addiction Potential: Moderate
Modes of Administration:
Oral (pill or capsule)
Onset of Drug Effect(s): Steroids are synthetic, man-made substances similar to the male sex hormone testosterone. Doctors will prescribe steroids to help people with certain kinds of anemia or with men who do not produce enough testosterone. Doctors also prescribe corticosteroids to reduce swelling. Corticosteroids are not anabolic steroids and do not produce the same harmful consequences associated with them.
Steroids promote the growth of skeletal muscle and increase lean body mass. Anabolic steroids were first abused by athletes seeking to improve performance. Today, athletes and others abuse anabolic steroids to enhance performance and also to improve physical appearance.
Drug Action(s): Steroids can, in fact, stimulate muscle growth. But they also cause things like major acne, trembling, high blood pressure, yellow skin, bloating, liver problems, stunted growth, and weaker tendons. Baldness, facial hair, and a deeper voice often develop. Irregular menstrual cycles and infertility are what females have to worry about, while men can look forward to a reduced sperm count and testicular shrinkage and, sometimes, breast development. Over time, steroid use can cause serious violent behavior, delusions, paranoid jealousy, and bad judgment. These are the kinds of side effects that can lead people to suicide.
Over the long-term, steroids affect individual cells and promote protein growth. For example, the liver can grow tumors and develop cancer. Steroids can also lead to heart attack and stroke as a result of fatty deposits in the arteries.