Anabolic steroids are commonly used to enhance performance, especially related to sports. Other persons consume them to increase their muscle mass and pump up their bodies. However, steroids are prescription only substances, and should not be consumed without proper reason or medical direction. In sports, most of the categories of sport do not permit the athletes or players who participate to take these drugs.
How and Why Are Anabolic Steroids are Misused
Cases of steroid use in sports such as athletics, cycling, and swimming are not rare. The temptation to increase performance by taking banned substances pushes athletes and other sports persons to engage in steroid use. Some try to time the injection of the substance into their body such that it wears out before they are tested. In other users such as body builders, the steroids are injected straight into muscle. Other forms of administration include gels or creams that are applied on the skin, or tablets that are taken orally. To achieve the desired effects of muscle mass increase, while at the same time avoiding the adverse effects to the body, steroid users have learned several techniques to achieve this. These include cycling, stacking, and pyramiding. Cycling refers to using the anabolic steroids for a period and then holding off for a while. Others use multiple steroids in the belief that the results of the combination will be better, and this is called stacking. Most users with proper knowledge of steroids will combine the two techniques, a process called pyramiding.
Negative Effects of Anabolic Steroids Misuse
There are several adverse effects associated with the misuse of steroids. Firstly, research has shown a link between longstanding users of steroids with medical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart attacks. Secondly, in men, apart from the increase in muscle mass, steroids have been known to cause infertility, low sperm count, an increased risk of prostate cancer, development of breasts, and baldness. In women, some of the undesired results include facial hair growth, loss of breast tissue, deepening of voice, hair loss, and in some an increased sexual drive. Use of steroids may become addictive if not controlled, and lead to social problems such as being irresponsible. Some users have also been known to share needles, increasing the risk of infections such as hepatitis B and HIV. The psychological effects of steroid us include mood swings, manic tendencies, and aggressive mannerisms.