- Classification: Steroids
- CSA Schedule: Schedule III
- Trade or Other Names: Danocrine, Maxibolin, Winstrol, Anabol
- Medical Uses: Hypogonadism, delayed puberty, osteoporosis, lupus
- Physical Dependence: Yes
- Psychological Dependence: Yes
- Tolerance: Yes
- Duration (hours): Variable
- Usual Method: Oral, injected, topical
- Possible Effects: Fatigue, agitation, mood swings, acne, decreased appetite
- Effects of Overdose: Coma, convulsions, elevated blood pressure, heart attack, stroke
- Withdrawal Syndrome: Depression, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, headaches
Anabolic-androgenic steroids, commonly known as anabolic steroids, are represented by synthetic structural derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone. The administration of these drugs produces anabolic (i.e., increases in skeletal muscle and lean body mass) and androgenic changes (i.e., masculinization) in men and women.
The anabolic steroids include danazol, methyltestosterone, ethylestrenol, methandrostenolone, nandrolone, oxandrolone, oxymetholone, stanozolol, and tetrahydrogestrinone (brand names include Anadrol, Anavar, Danocrine, Dianabol, Metandren, and Winstrol). Although some may be taken orally or topically, others must be injected to be effective.
Origin of Anabolic Steroids Use
Anabolic steroids were invented in the 1930’s when a group of scientists discovered a synthetic form of testosterone (a male hormone). This synthetic form of testosterone was supposed to help men who were unable to produce enough of this hormone in their body.
During World War II it was discovered that this synthesized form of testosterone could be used to help malnourished soldiers to gain weight and improve their performance. Not long after World War II, athletes started to use steroids to enhance their performance in different competitions. For example, in the 1956 Olympics the Soviet athletes performed at unbelievably high levels. After the Olympics, an American physician named Dr. Zeigler created an improved version of synthetic testosterone. This new version gave birth to the group of substances known today as anabolic steroids. From these beginnings, anabolic steroids abuse became common among not just Olympic athletes, but also professional sports players and high school athletes. In 1975, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) banned the use of these substances in Olympic competitions due to the unfair advantage it gave to users.
The illegal market sale continued to increase in the following years. In 1988 the first significant federal regulation of steroids was introduced which stiffened the penalties for the sale and possession of anabolic steroids.
How Steroids are Consumed
The most commonly used routes of administration of anabolic steroids are oral ingestion (e.g., Anadrol, Oxandrin, Dianabol, Winstrol), intramuscular injection (e.g., Deca-Durabolin, Durabolin, Depo-Testosterone, Equipoise, Tetrahydrogestrinone), and topical administration (creams that can be rubbed directly onto the user’s skin).
Though these drugs can be taken as a single dose, some users tend to abuse them in intricate patterns of administration methods known as pyramiding (slowly increasing the dose or frequency of use, reaching a peak, and then gradually tapering off), cycling (taking doses for a period, stopping for some time, and then restarting), or stacking (combining two or more different types of steroids).
Drug – Trade name – Route of administration
Danazol – Danocrine – Oral
Ethylestrenol – Maxibolin – Oral
Methandrostenolone – Dianabol – Oral
Methyltestosterone – Metandren – Oral
Oxandrolone – Anavar – Oral
Stanozolol – Winstrol – Oral
Nandrolone – Androlone, Durabolin, Nandrolin – Injection
Methandriol – Anabol, Durabolic, Methabolic, Steribolic – Injection
Effects of Anabolic Steroids Use
People who abuse anabolic steroids tend to do so for its properties tied to improving physical performance and muscle growth.
It is critical to mention that with these improvements in strength and performance unwanted side effects can occur, which include:
Short Term Use Effects:
• Mood swings
• Trouble sleeping
• Decreased appetite
• Reduced sperm count
Long Term Use Effects:
• Blood clotting disorders
• Heart attacks
• Cardiovascular, liver, and reproductive organ damage
• Reduced sexual functioning
• Stunted growth in adolescents
• Bacterial infections, abscesses, cellulitis, and HIV/AIDS due to shared needle injection