What are Steroids?

Anabolic steroids, commonly referred to as steroids, are medications related to testosterone, some of which are medicines approved for certain therapeutic uses. Bodybuilders and athletes may misuse steroids to build muscles, often taking doses much higher than would be prescribed for a medical condition, such as delayed puberty or muscle loss due to disease. Using them this way is not legal or safe.

Steroids are illegal to have without a prescription from a licensed physician. It is illegal for individuals to sell steroids.  Doctors prescribe steroids for specific medical conditions. They are only safe for use when a doctor prescribes them and monitors their effects.

Steroid use and misuse have been associated with cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.  Researchers found that steroid users had significantly weaker hearts than those who never used steroids.

Steroids affect your mood. They can cause paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, and impaired judgement. Extreme mood swings also can occur, including “roid rage”- angry feelings and behavior that may lead to violence.

The majority of teens aren’t using steroids. Nationwide only about 1.1% of 12th graders reported having illegally used steroids in the past year.

Know the signs:

Symptoms of steroid use may include:

  • Acne
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • Swelling of feet or ankles
  • Aching joints
  • Bad Breath
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Trembling

For guys:

  • Hair loss
  • Impotence
  • Development of breasts

For Girls:

  • Growth of facial hair
  • Deepened voice
  • Breast reduction


To learn more

National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens – Steroids
SAMHSA – Steroids