You may assume steroid abusers are stereotypica meatheads-but a new study shows that students on steroids are actually amongst the most educated of drug users! Anabolic-androgenic steroids, or AAS, are manufactured compounds that resemble the body's natural hormone, testosterone. In its natural form, testosterone directs the body to produce or enhance male characteristics, like facial hair growth and increased muscle mass. Testosterone also regulates sexual function in both genders. Both male and female bodies make this hormone, although men produce larger amounts. When used legally, steroids are available to treat conditions related to deficiencies in the body's testosterone, such as delayed puberty. They can also be prescribed to treat body wasting in people with AIDS. But AAS are also available on the street, where they go by other names, like pumpers, gym candy, and Arnolds. Illegally, steroids are taken to encourage the body to create new muscle growth, as well as to prevent the breakdown of current muscle mass. Fewer than one percent of college students admit to having tried steroids without a prescription...but those who do use steroids are often body builders or non-athletes hoping to "look better." Unfortunately, abusing steroids can lead to a host of negative side effects. On the emotional side, the drugs can cause hostility, aggression, and impaired judgment. Physically, short-term abuse can lead to acne, premature hair loss, and-of course-increased muscle mass. And long term abuse leads to even more serious consequences, like damage to the reproductive organs, often manifesting as decreased testicle size in men, decreased breasts in women, and possible infertility in both sexes. Plus, steroid users have a significantly higher risk of developing high blood pressure, kidney cancer, and stroke-causing blood clots. There's obviously a reason that steroids are illegal without a doctor's prescription, so be like 99% of your peers and pass on them.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012