Forms and Appearance
Anabolic steroids are produced as capsules and tablets in a variety of colours, and as an injectable liquid.
Medical and Other Uses
Anabolic steroids imitate certain naturally occurring hormones and are used to treat some human and animal health disorders.
Methods of Use
The drugs can be taken orally as tablets or capsules. However, abusers will usually inject the liquid forms intramuscularly.
Effects of Use
Most users will have increased muscle growth and body bulk, as well as greater strength and stamina.
Adverse effects from misuse include:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- liver and kidney problems
- liver and kidney cancers
- sexual and menstrual dysfunction
- growth of face and body hair in females
- mood swings
- aggression and irritability
- damage to the unborn child in pregnant users
Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance develops with continued use. There is little evidence of physical dependence developing. However, many users become psychologically dependent because the drug has given them a body which is very important for their self-image. They feel afraid to stop using it in case that body should change.
Sudden withdrawal from long-term or heavy use of anabolic steroids can be very dangerous. The user may suffer complete muscular collapse leading to an almost complete loss of strength and stamina. Some users have violent mood swings, and feel very depressed and anxious. Withdrawal should always be medically supervised.
Steroid overdose can cause collapse, coma, convulsions and death.