Steroids are drugs designed to help restore or build muscle tissue by combining them with appropriate cycles of exercise and good diet. Some mimic the effects of the naturally produced testosterone in the body. There is a vast array of products available (anabolics, growth hormones, fat burners) and little reliable information. They are legally controlled but it is not an offence to possess them in a medicinal form, only supplying and selling them.
They come in tablet form and also in as a liquid for injection. It is not unusual for steroid users to inject (into muscle). Many needles exchanges report more steroid users than for other drugs like heroin. These drugs are often available in certain gyms; the vast majority are misused by men. They can also be bought from foreign internet sites and conventional street dealers. There is tendency among some younger men to take them for short term gain with uncertain risks.
They can be relatively cheap, as low as 2 pounds each. Some products are considerably more expensive. There may be as many as 100,000 users in Britain.
Also known as: Roids.
Steroids mainly effect the body by building muscles and shortening recovery time. They can give a mild euphoric buzz and sense of well being but also impact on your moods particularly if they are taken over a longer period. They can make you aggressive and volatile, can cause paranoia and sleeping problems. They can cause heart problems even heart attacks.
Physical effects over time may include baldness, severe acne and breast growth. Injecting can cause painful abscesses. Women taking them may become more manly in appearance including facial hair and deepening voice.
Long term use can have damaging effect on relationships when mood swings become too much. Besides all the physical effects steroids have on your appearance, they are also damaging to your liver and kidneys (particularly in pill form) and raise your blood pressure. Steroids can be psychologically addictive. Injecting steroids is a highly dangerous practise which increases the risk of becoming infected with Hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS. Taking too high a dosage can seriously effect your sex drive by altering the body’s natural ability to produce its own testosterone. Very high doses can cause overdose and even death.
Steroids are medical drugs. If you do take them be very careful on dosage and try and learn as much as you can about particular products. Steroids are meant to be taken during a cycle of prolonged exercise with a planned dietary intake which should include plenty of protein and vegetables. Do not assume there is a quick way of building muscle. If you notice your moods becoming suddenly unpredictable you should stop taking them.
Injecting steroids brings risk of becoming infected with Blood Borne Viruses so you should ensure you always use a clean needle. Avoid being injected by others. Needle exchanges may be a good source of information.
Steroids are class C drugs but legal to possess in a medicinal form, but illegal to supply. It may be hard for a police officer to distinguish steroids and other drugs. Being caught in possession of even very small amounts could result in your arrest. If you are caught dealing you will may be fined rather than imprisoned, depending on the amount.
Do anabolic steroids help you to gain muscle?
Anabolic steroids are used to gain muscle, strength and burn fat. The extensive use of these drugs is a concern as some people who use steroids do not also follow a balanced diet and do not exercise so the side effect is swollen and soft muscle due to water retention. It is important to have considerable knowledge of the potential side-effects.
How do steroids change your body and mind?
Taking steroids is not recommended as it affects growth and maturation, for some women their voice may deepen and they develop abnormal hair growth. Steroids can cause a hormonal imbalance that has some psychological effects: a change in mood, behaviour and somatic perception (the way we perceive ourselves).