RELATED TERMS: ROIDS, JUICE.
What are steroids?
Steroids are drugs that mimic certain natural hormones in the body that regulate and control how the body works and develops. There are two main groups of natural steroids – anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. It is the anabolic steroids that tend to be misused, mainly because they are similar to the male hormone testosterone and they can improve endurance and performance and stimulate muscle growth.
Some people take the anabolic steroids to help build muscles or to try and look more ‘manly’. Other people take them to improve how they perform at sports, such as sprinting and cycling.
The key effects of anabolic steroids include:
- They may help sports players train harder and longer.
- If taken alongside a strenuous exercise regime, they may help with faster recovery times and with the building up of muscle mass.
- They can make some users feel paranoid, irritable, aggressive or even violent, and they can cause dramatic mood swings.
- They can sometimes cause unwanted changes in appearance.
Anabolic steroids are available as tablets or as a liquid for injection.
In medicine, they can be used to treat anaemia and muscle weakness after surgery.