Steroids

Know the facts about steroids and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What are some slang terms or prescription brand names?
Juice, Roids, Gym Candy, Pumpers, Oxandrin, Android, Anadrol
See table below for a more complete list.

What is it?
Anabolic androgenic steroids are a group of powerful compounds closely related to the male sex hormone testosterone. There are very few legitimate medical uses of anabolic androgenic steroids, including treatment of severe testosterone deficiency and certain kinds of anemia. Body builders, long-distance runners, cyclists and other athletes who may use these substances illegally claim that anabolic steroids give them a competitive advantage and/or improve their physical appearance.

What does it look like?
Steroids can come in tablet, capsule or liquid form, as well as gels, creams and patches.

How is it used?
Steroids are taken orally, applied to the skin or injected. Athletes and other people who misuse steroids typically take them in cycles of weeks or months (called “cycling”), rather than continuously. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. In addition, people misusing steroids frequently combine several different types to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects, a process known as stacking.

What do young people hear about it?
Steroids have a reputation for increasing lean muscle mass, strength, and the ability to train longer and harder.

What are the risks?
The minor side effects of steroid use include acne, oily skin, excess hair growth, and deepening of the voice. The major side effects include an increased risk of cancer, increased risk of heart and liver disease, jaundice, fluid retention, reduction in HDL-C (“good cholesterol”), high blood pressure and changes in blood clotting.

Side effects specific to men can include testicular atrophy (the shrinking of the testicles), reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, and the development of breasts. For women, side effects can include enlargement of the clitoris, changes in the body contour, growth of facial hair, disruption of the menstrual cycle, deepened voice.

An increase in androgenic (male) hormones may also lead to aggressive behavior. Research also indicates that people who use steroids often suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.

Teens who misuse steroids are at a significant risk of suffering irreversible side effects, including stunted growth, accelerated puberty changes and abnormal sexual development.

What are signs of use?

  • Acne
  • Oily skin
  • Excess hair growth
  • Deepening of the voice

For males:

  • Shrinking testicles
  • Baldness
  • Development of breasts

For females:

  • Growth of facial hair
  • Changes in body contour
  • Disruption of menstrual cycle
  • Deepened voice

List of Brand Names & Slang Terms

 Generic Drug Composition Brand Name
Oxandrolone Oxandrin
Methyltestosterone Testred, Android, Methitest
Oxymetholone Anadrol
Fluoxymesterone Androxy, Halotestin

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Next Steps

Spotting Drug Use

A few simple tips and guidelines can go a long way toward spotting issues with drug use earlier rather than later.

Prepare to Take Action

Is your child using drugs? Use these tips to prepare for the conversation ahead, and lay the foundation for more positive outcomes.

Start Talking

Begin the process of helping your child with their drug or alcohol use. Learn how to have a conversation instead of another confrontation.

Get One-on-One Help

Trained counselors are available to listen, answer questions and help you create a plan to begin addressing your child's substance use.