Steroids have legitimate medical uses in cancer and leukemia patients and persons with severe anemia, but unfortunately they are largely misused by persons attempting to boost muscle mass. Several professional sports players are caught using steroids each year. Steroids are available by prescription only and are illegal when used for any purposes not specified by a prescription or when used by a person without a prescription.
Steroids can be found in various forms for use for their intended medical purposes. Steroids are found in the form of orally administered drugs such as tablets, capsules, and flavored liquids as well as liquid injections and even in the form of creams or gels.
Effects of use occur both in those using steroids for medical purposes as well as persons using the drugs illegally. Side effects of steroids may appear as short term side effects that eventually taper away when use is discontinued or continue long after use has ended. Short-term effects involve the development of acne, irritability, aggression, and growth of breasts in men.
Long-term effects, as reported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, have been studied on laboratory mice and the only evidence of long term effects on humans has been in situations in which a later effect could be linked only to the use of steroids in the past. Long-term effects of steroids are believed to be premature death, heart attacks and strokes at young ages, atherosclerosis, blood clots and other cardiovascular diseases.
When taken illegally by athletes or others wishing to boost muscle mass, more than one steroid is taken at a time and the steroids are taken in different cycling methods. Cycling methods are the ways in which the illegal users take the medication. Illegal users may take a certain dosage for a span of time then stop altogether for a while and pick it back up as needed, or use a pyramid method of building their dosage up to a pick and then dropping it back down to nothing.
Because steroid use is both illegal and harmful to the body it is important to report any illegal usage when and if you become aware of it. Common street names that you may hear steroids referred to as include: gym candy, roids, pumpers, Arnolds, stackers, juice, gear, and weight trainers. Inappropriate use may provide temporary benefits for sports teams but has the potential to be incredibly harmful to the health of those who use the drugs.