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Steroids Make You Stupid- Not Superman!
Have you ever been to the gym and literally seen a monster so muscular, physically chiseled, that you suspected ‘enhancement? There has been a steady crisis among young males and anabolic steroids—more specifically anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). These are synthetic compounds that have muscle-building (anabolic) and masculinization (androgenic) effects. Medical uses include prevention of tissue wasting in some diseases. People also use AAS to boost athletic performance or look more muscular.
People who inject steroids risk diseases passed by needle sharing like Hepatitis C and HIV.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, AAS use has been linked to severe mental disorders, including mania, depression, suicidality, and psychoses. High AAS dosages can cause uncontrolled anger or combative behavior (“roid rage”). These episodes may be manifestations of an AAS-induced hypomanic syndrome, which begins with feelings of invincibility and worsens as dosages increase. Some people using AAS experience a body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) called muscle dysmorphia, the obsessive belief that they are not adequately muscular or “chiseled.” Some people start using other drugs to ease mood swings or conditioning pain.
“Red Flags” for Steroid Use
- Very low body fat, extreme muscularity, disproportionately large upper torso
- Acne on face, shoulders, back
- Excessive facial or body hair
- Superficial confidence; feelings of invincibility or grandiosity
- Restlessness, anxiety, guardedness
- Frustration or excessive argumentativeness to point of rage
- Obsession with weight training
The dangers of steroid use are real. Reports exist of people who used AAS and then developed opioid addiction as a result. In one study of 227 men admitted to opioid addiction treatment, 21 (9%) reported beginning their substance use with AAS. Significant physical harm has been linked to long-term use, including damage to liver, heart, and sexual organ systems. And if you think this is only an adult crisis, adolescent AAS use has been linked to stunted growth, usually permanent. Needle injection increases risk of blood-borne diseases.
If you or someone you know is using steroids or even considering experimentation, talk to a professional and get the facts. Your health could depend on it.