Steroids: Therapeutic use, Treatment. Steroids rehab.

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 3:35 pm

Official names: Anabolic-androgenicsteroids, ergogenic drugs
Street names: Rhoids, juice, gear, stuff, junk, and ragers, D-bol or D-ball (Dianabol); Depo-T (Depo-Testosterone); test or t (testosterone); Andro (androstenedione); Deca or Deca-D (Deca-Durabolin)
Drug classifications: Schedule III, hallucinogen

 

Key terms

ANABOLIC EFFECTS: A drug-induced growth or thickening of the body’s nonreproductive tract tissues, such as muscle, bones, larynx, and vocal cords, and a decrease in body fat.
ANDROGENIC EFFECTS: Adrug’s effects on the growth of the male reproductive tract and the development of male secondary sexual characteristics.
HDL: The type of cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein, which transfers excess cholesterol to the liver for removal.
LDL: The predominant type of blood cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein, which transports cholesterol throughout the body.
LEAN BODY MASS: The portion of the body, such as muscle and organs, that is devoid of fat and bone.
TESTOSTERONE: A hormone produced in higher amounts in males that is responsible for male characteristics such as muscle-building, maintaining sexual organs, and causing hair growth and a deepening voice during puberty.

 

Overview

Anabolic steroids is the familiar term for the synthetic versions of the male sex hormone testosterone. One of the body’s many chemical messengers, testosterone promotes the growth of skeletal muscle and the development of male sexual characteristics in puberty, such as enlargement of the penis, growth of facial and pubic hair, a deepening voice, and greater muscular development in boys. The average adult male naturally produces less than 10 milligrams (mg) of testosterone each day. In contrast, the average steroid user takes more than 100 mg daily. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) because they have bodybuilding (anabolic) effects as well as masculinizing (androgenic) effects. Commonly referred to as steroids, AAS should not be confused with a different group of steroids called corticosteroids. Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone are used to treat illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory diseases.
AASs are used nonmedically to improve athletic performance, physical appearance, and fighting ability. AAS-using bodybuilders believe that AASs enhance their physical strength, boost their confidence and assertiveness, and improve feelings of sexuality. Teens who use AAS tend to use them to improve their physical appearance, and are more likely to use other drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. Three types of nonmedical AAS users have been identified. The first group are athletes who desire to win at any cost, often believing that their competitors are also using AASs. The second group are often bodybuilders or aspiring models whose aim is to create a beautiful body. They display their bodies to obtain financial rewards and respect. The third group use AASs to become more intimidating and to improve their fighting ability. These may include body or prison guards, police, or gang members whose survival depends on their readiness to fight.
History
The first synthetic versions of testosterone were created by European researchers soon after 1935, the year testosterone was first isolated in laboratories. Intended for medical reasons, AASs were devised to help people rebuild body tissue lost through disease. In fact, after World War II ended in 1945, AASs were given to many starving concentration camp survivors to help them add skeletal muscle and gain body weight. Overall, the medical use of AASs has been rare. For example, in the 1960s AASs were used to treat the reduced height (also called short stature) that occurs in a condition called Turner syndrome. Then human growth hormone became available and replaced the use of AASs for this condition. The primary medical use of AASs has been to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the testes do not produce sufficient testosterone.
While bodybuilders and weightlifters may have started using AASs in the 1940s, Olympic athlete usage began in the 1950s. Until the 1970s, when drug testing technology advances could detect AASs in the urine, their usage went undetected. In 1975 AASs were added to the International Olympic Committee’s list of banned substances. However, testing was spotty. For example, at some of the 1984 Olympic sporting events, unplanned detection tests were given to athletes. The results? About half the tested athletes had taken steroids. International awareness of steroid abuse increased in 1988 when Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for AASs in the Seoul Olympic games and had to forfeit his gold medal to the second-place finisher, American Carl Lewis. Also that year, a survey showed that 6.6% of American male high school seniors had tried AASs. These two events jumpstarted efforts to include AASs in the Schedule III of Controlled Substances Act, which occurred in 1991. Today the use among teenagers does not appear to be decreasing. Also, because the testing of athletes for AAS use varies widely among countries and competitive events, many athletes continue to take AASs without detection.
Scientists have developed hundreds of different AASs, which require a prescription to be used legally in the United States. Those obtained illegally are smuggled in from other countries, diverted from U.S. pharmacies, or synthesized in illegitimate laboratories. Most illicit AASs are sold at gyms, during competitive events, or through illegal mail operations. It is estimated that illegal steroid sales top more than $500 million each year.
In addition, dietary supplements that have steroidal properties can be purchased legally; common ones are dehydroeiandrosteroine (DHEA) and androstenedione. As of 2002, the effects of these dietary supplements are being researched for possible inclusion as an banned substance.

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