Many athletes, throughout their careers, have considered using steroids to give them an edge over other
athletes. The athletes that do decide to take them are ignorant to the side effects or they just think nothing
will happen to them. Side effects can range from something small like hair lose or the side effects can be
so horrifying that the individual may wish that they had never taken them. Quite often the side effects out
weigh the benefits.
Anabolic steroids have been around for nearly 40 years . This would classify them as fairly old drugs.
Steroids have changed little since their inception in the early 50’s. It was at that time that scientists became
convinced that testosterone was responsible for masculine characteristics in men. In the 40’s discovery in
the area of testosterone and its anabolic effect prompted the manufacture of indictable testosterone which
was given to people suffering severe malnutrition, mainly P.O.W’s. By the early 50’s athletes in the Eastern
world were already using steroids in an effort to increase their strength. News of this drug became more
and more wide spread as Russian lifters crushed weight lifting records with regularity. On this lead Dr.
John Ziegler was able to verify that testosterone had indeed been used effectively to increase the
performance of the Russian lifters. Attempting to give Ameracin athletes the same edge, he and CIBA labs
developed Dianabol in 1956!
. This drug was a cured derivative of testosterone but it has been effective as any anabolic steroid produced
to this date. Thus
this started the obsession with steroids and their athletic enhancing properties that runs out of control to this
There are a some key terms that should be discussed to fully understand how steroids work. Alpha
alkylated 17 refers to the addition of alkyl substitute on the 17th carbon position of the steroid molecule.
On most oral steroids this was found to greatly increase the life of it in the body. Without this adjustment,
most oral steroids would rendered inactive after first pass. This adjustment makes oral steroids much more
effective, it has also made their toxicity the highest of any steroid.
Anabolic refers to the promoting of anabolism, the actual building of tissue, mainly muscle. this occurs
through synthetic chemical reactions in one’s metabolism. Anabolism occurs by taking substances from the
blood that are essential for growth and repair and using them to stimulate cell reactions which in turn
produce synthesis of tissue. This effect is most sought after by steroid users.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone a hormone that occurs naturally in the body
controlling many functions. Among these functions is the promoting of anabolism. Steroids mimic this
natural occurring event and have the ability to do so at an accelerated rate.
Androgenic refers to a classification of testosterone. This function of testosterone is responsible for male
secondary sexual characteristics like body hair, deepening on the voice, development of the male sex
organs and sex drive. This property is responsible for the majority of side effects of steroid use. Because
steroids are not totally separated between androgenic and anabolic property, both effects are felt in varying
degrees when steroids are used. The androgenic quality is favored by some who feel they benefit from the
increased aggressiveness. This type of steroid will give good size and strength gains, but in the long run,
highly androgenic result in side effects and should be avoided.
Blocking agent is a name given to a class of prescription medicines that can prevent the excretion of
steroids from the kidneys into the urine. By temporarily blocking this excretion many athletes can test
negative for anabloic steroids on a blood test while they are currently on a cycle.
Buccal are steroids which are made to be dissolved in the cheek or under the tongue. Drugs taken this
way have approximately twice the potency of oral drugs. Drugs taken this way get into the blood faster and
are not as hard on the liver. Buccal drugs should not be swallowed.
Aromatize relates to a reaction in the body where excess testosterone or androgens are converted to
estrogen. This is exactly what steroid users do not want. A number of side effects are tied to this the most
common is the development of breast tissue in men this is refereed to as gynecomastia.
Stacking applies to the use of anabolic steroids, means taking two or more drugs at the same time. The
motivation behind staking is that the user will saturate multiple steroid receptor populations, more than if
only one steroid were used. Thus lower dosages are necessary which means less dose related side effects
for the user. now that you understand what these key words mean I can talk about the many different types
Now that I have covered some key terms I can go into great detail about the most commonly used
steroids. The most commonly used steroids as of 1994 are Deca, Testosterone Cypionate, Anadrol 50,
Sustanon and Winstrol-V (indictable).
Deca-Durabolin is the most widely used and widely available steroid in the world. It is still benign,
manufactured by numerous domestic pharmaceutical suppliers and its availability is decreasing. Deca is
also the most popular counterfeited steroids on the market. The drug itself is moderate androgen, highly
anabolic preparation. It is excellent for promoting size and strength gains, it has minimal liver toxicity.
Testosterone Cypionate is an oil based indictable form oftestosterone. It is high in androgens and
very highly anabolic. Cypionate aromatizes easily making water retention a problem. It is only moderately
toxic to the liver. Cypionate produces dramatic size and strength increase.
Anadrol is an oral steroid which is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone. It is the strongest oral steroid
available. The androgenic properties of this drug are just short of testosterone. This combination gives
Anadrol the ability to build massive amounts of muscles. Although it is powerful it remains the highest
threat for serious adverse reactions.
Sustanon is a blend of four testosterone components that have been found to react very positively
together. This drug is fast acting and has a long life in the blood. This steroid can be taken in low dosages
because of the four different types of testosterone’s it contains. Therefore side effects are less likely.
Winstrol is a very popular Steroid, it is a derivative of DHT. It is low in androgenic qualities which does
not aromatize. It can be toxic to the liver in excessive dosages. Winstrol is primarily used with another
steroid to promote cuts and rapid weight lose.
Counterfeit steroids are illegal copies of real pharmaceutical products that make big bucks. Counterfeit
steroids go back several years. New regulations made pharmaceutical labs producing steroids, in the U.S.
report all steroid orders. Since this is where most of the black market was coming from. Similar
regulations were put on veterinary drugs used by athletes. In some states, the use of steroids was outlawed
entirely, even by prescription. All of these things occurring at about the same time made it suddenly very
hard to obtain these drugs. Faced with an ever growing demand for steroids, and a limited supply, a large
gap developed. The counterfeit market filled that gap. Thus, started the basement steroid craze.
Anabolic steroids can increase muscle size and strength but have a number of side effects. The major
physiological side effects of anabolic steroids are “liver toxicity, elevated levels of enzymes found in heart
and skeletal muscles, hepatocellular carcinoma, cholestasis, elevated blood pressure, alterations in clotting
factors, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, decreased HDL, elevated nervous tension, psychosis, altered
electrolyte balance, depressed spermatogenesis, lowered testosterone production, reduced gonadotropin
hormone production (LH, FSH), increased urine volume, premature closure of epiphyses in children,
masculinization in women, increased or decreased in libido, sore nipples, acne, lowered voice in women
and children, clitoral enlargement, increased aggressiveness, nosebleeds, muscle cramps and spasms,
gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, disturbed thyroid function, tumors, prostatic hypertrophy, prostatic
cancer, increased activity of apocrine sweat !
glands, depressed immune function, gynecomastia” . If thats not enough for you oral anabolic steroids
have different effects on the liver, they are, “blockage of bile flow in liver, abnormalities in important
structures within liver cells, impairment of the livers ability to deal with toxins and metabolic by products,
blood vessel problems within the liver such as blood filled cysts, liver tumors and cancer” .
Growth hormone (G.H) is another type of steroid that is very dangerous. G.H includes all of the above
side efects and a few others that are specific to the drug. The use of G.H has been popular in the U.S for
almost 8 years now. Originally, athletes used biologically active forms that were the actual extract of the
pituitary glands of cadavers. Ascellacrin and Crescormon were the two most popular brand names of G.H.
While production was under way on the synthetic, D.N.A version of this drug, it was discovered that the
biologically active form was associated with the formation of a rare brain virus called Creutzveldt Jacob
Disease. This was a fatal virus that afflicted a very small number of G.H. users. This discovery prompted
the F.D.A. to ban all the natural G.H. versions from the market. A short time later Protropin and
Humatrope gained F.D.A. approval. It had been speculated that these synthetic versions of G.H. would
improve the cost of using
G.H. but this has not been the case. An athlete who wants to do a cycle of G.H. can expect to spend as
much as $4000 a month. There are numerous versions of G.H. available in Europe. There is even a form
of the original human extract G.H., called Grorm which is used to treat a pituitary deficient dwarfism. G.H.
is an endogenous hormone produced by the pituitary gland it exists at especially high levels during the teen
years when it promotes growth of almost all tissues. It also contributes to the deposition of protein and
promotes the breakdown of fat for use as energy. As the body reaches full maturation, the endogenous
levels of G.H. are substantially diminished. After this, G.H. is still present in the body but at a substantially
lower level where it continues to aid in protein synthesis, R.N.A and D.N.A reactions and the conversion of
body fat to energy. By introducing an exogenous source of this hormone, athletes are hoping to promote
these effects, causing the bo!
dy to deposit more muscle tissue while at the same time reducing body fat stores. Although G.H. is banned
by athletic committees, there is no method for the detection of it which allows drug tested competitors to
use this product freely without any consequences. Adverse reactions to G.H. use are rare but could involve
acromegaly (elongation of the feet, forehead and hands). Other possible side effects involve overgrowth of
the elbows or jaw, thickening of the skin and a type of diabetes.
Roid rage is a very common side effect of all anabolic steroids and G.H. Roid rage is an uncontrolled fit
of anger where anything can happen eg. verbal assault, physical assault, murder you name it and its
probably happened at one time or another. Roid rage is caused because of an excess of testosterone in a
person. The more testosterone one has in their blood the more likely they are to be aggressive.
There are a large number of reported violent cases that involve steroids. The most common, is the cut off
in traffic. Someone cuts a steroid user off and at the next set of lights the steroid user gets out of his car
and puts his fist through the window and pulls out the guy who cut him off face first and beats the living
crap out of him. There have also been wife beatings, girlfriend beatings, ruined relationships, robbed
banks, suicide and murder just to name a few offenses that have bean committed because of roid rage.
Psychological side effects of steroids can be broken down into three categories, namely;
MILD PSYCHOLOGICALDISTORTED AGGRESSION/
– Euphoria -Paranoia-Increased
-Irritability -Racing thoughts aggressiveness
-Depression-Audible thoughts -Out of control
-Sleeplessness -Guilt feelings behavior and
-Enhanced emotional -Hallucinations/violent
states delusional thinking tendencies
In conclusion steroids are a powerful drug that can give great strength and size and a wide variety of
possibly lethal side effects. Steroids have been responsible for broken homes, ruined relationships, illness,
crippling diseases and death. Steroids can destroy all that we hold dear to us, the consequences far out way