Anabolic steroids Category: Performance and Image Enhancing Substances
Also called: steroids, roids, juice, nandrolone, restandol, striant, sustanon.
How it’s used
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. You can get them as a tablet, capsule or liquid to inject. Your doctor may prescribe them to treat specific conditions. They are also popular with bodybuilders, athletes and other sports people because they can improve your performance.
- May increase your muscle mass if you take them as part of a body building regime
- They can increase your appetite, energy, motivation, confidence and self-esteem
- May let you train harder and recover quicker
- You may become more aggressive and violent – ‘roid rage’
- Hypertension – your body retains water and blood pressure goes up
- If you’re still growing it may stunt your growth
- Increases your risk of liver failure, stroke or heart attack
- Mood swings, hallucinations and depression
- Paranoia, confusion and trouble sleeping
- In men – can cause balding, breast enlargement (‘man boobs’) and impotence
- In women – can cause facial and body hair growth, deeper voice, smaller breasts and menstrual problems
- Damage to veins if you inject
- Risk of HIV and hepatitis if you share needles
- Liver abnormalities, including cancer
If you are pregnant
Do not take steroids if you are pregnant as we don’t know what the risks are to your baby.
Steroids are not physically addictive but you can become psychologically dependent, so you find it hard to cope without them.
Withdrawal from steroids can make you feel tired and depressed. You may also have muscle pain.
What help is available?
- Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
- Counselling or psychotherapy
- Complementary therapies such as acupuncture
- One to one or group family support
- Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in your area