Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic Steroids

Generally speaking, people who use steroids experience an increase in muscle strength very quickly. This means that people are able to train more often and for longer periods of time, with improved recovery. This can lead to a rapid increases in lean muscle tissue but fluid retention is common and can lead to muscles looking soft or bloated. People may use steroids in what they believe to be a healthy lifestyle context.

They may not see themselves as injecting drug users. However, there are risks associated with using steroids without a prescription or medical supervision, even as part of a fitness training program. In the worst case, long-term heavy steroid use can lead to heart attack, stroke and death, especially among men aged in their early 30s who combine steroids with stimulant drugs, such as speed and ecstasy. Anabolic steroids can also take a toll on personal relationships as they can cause mood swings, a higher sex drive and, in extreme cases, violent behaviour, especially when combined with alcohol. They can ruin sporting careers, with positive tests potentially resulting in fines, suspensions and bans from competitive sports. On a more superficial level, steroids can lead to premature baldness in men.

Side Effects of Steroids

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    There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk.

    Anabolic Steroids affect everyone differently based on:

    • The amount taken
    • A person’s size, weight and health
    • Whether the person is used to taking it
    • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time

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    There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk.

    Anabolic Steroids affect everyone differently based on:

    • The amount taken
    • A person’s size, weight and health
    • Whether the person is used to taking it
    • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time

  • The following may be experienced:

    Water retention – leading to facial bloating

    Acne – leading to permanent scarring

    Irritability and mood swings

    More frequent colds

    Aggression and violence

    Increased sex drive

    Sleeping difficulties

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    The following may be experienced:

    Water retention – leading to facial bloating

    Acne – leading to permanent scarring

    Irritability and mood swings

    More frequent colds

    Aggression and violence

    Increased sex drive

    Sleeping difficulties

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    Longer-term effects may include:

    Liver damage

    Kidney or prostate cancer

    High blood pressure

    Depression

    Cardiovascular complications

    Tendon/ ligament damage

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    Longer-term effects may include:

    Liver damage

    Kidney or prostate cancer

    High blood pressure

    Depression

    Cardiovascular complications

    Tendon/ ligament damage



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    Side effects in Men

    • Reduced sperm count and fertility
    • Shrunken testicles
    • Baldness
    • Gynaecomastia (developing breasts)
    • Involuntarily and long-lasting erection

  • Side effects in Women

    • Facial hair growth
    • Irregular periods
    • Deepened voice
    • Smaller breasts
    • Enlarged clitoris

    Pregnant women who use steroids risk passing on male traits to unborn daughters due to the increased male hormones in their bloodstream. The only way to avoid the risk of fetal damage is to stop using steroids at least 4 months before falling pregnant, as well as during pregnancy.

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    Side effects in Young people

    Young men are more likely than young women to use steroids to gain weight and muscle mass. The risks of the following side effects are higher if steroids are injected by young men in their late teens/ early 20s, before they have stopped growing:

    • Stunted growth
    • Premature balding
    • Acne scarring
    • Stretch marks on chest and arms
    • Prematurely-aged, ‘leathery’ skin
    • Injuries from excessively intense gym workouts

  • Injecting risks

    Injecting steroids can cause permanent nerve damage, which can lead to sciatica. Injecting in unhygienic environments or sharing equipment with others also increases the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, tetanus or Hepatitis C or B.

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The effects of taking Steroids with other drugs including over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous.