by Teen Drug Abuse Staff
Metabolic and anabolic – androgenic steroids were first studied on experimental animals. The influence of the testis on metabolic processes in tissues other than the accessory sex organs has been recognized for a long time. The dramatic effects on vigor and energy reported by Brown-Seguard (1889) after the self-administration of testis glycerol extracts focused attention on energy metabolism. Early attempts to confirm these results were conflicting and unconvincing. Later several investigators administered extracts to experimental animals, with small and questionable results on energy and nitrogen metabolism (Koch, 1989; Moore, 1939).
Effects of androgens in humans are:
- Skeletal growth and maturation.
- Effect of bone resorption and bone formation.
- Effect on serum calcium, phosphorus, and alkaline phosphates.
- Effect of testosterone on calcium and phosphorus balances.
- Effect of other synthetic anabolic agents on calcium and phosphorus balance.
In general, the more carbon molecules in the added acid group that are esterified, the more prolonged the action the steroid has on the body. Increasing the number of carbons subsequently increases the affinity of the anabolic steroid.
Teenagers who use anabolic steroids usually do so without medical supervision or guidance. This hormonal manipulation becomes a major focus as they find other users and suppliers. Many teen users become obsessed with the lifestyle of finding ways to get more, while looking to find the magic in having bigger muscular bodies. Most of these young users minimize the potential adverse effect that these drugs can cause.
The following is a list of adverse effects that teenage anabolic steroid users may experience:
- Steroid induced acne
- Anti-hypertensive behaviors
- Hypertension or tired and fatigued
- Chronic gonadotrophin or HCG
- Testicular atrophy
- Induced gynecomastia
With these effects, it is not uncommon for heavy anabolic steroid users to use other drugs to treat these adverse conditions. This allows anabolic steroid black market dealers to stock up on many other varieties of prescription and street drugs to sell to the users.
To find out if teens are using steroids, we need to look at the different classifications of anabolic steroid preparations. Currently there are ten major classes of anabolic steroids. They are grouped in classes based on the route of administration and the type of carrier solvent used to introduce the steroid into the body.
The ten classes are:
- Injectable oil-based
- Injectable water-based
- Patch or gel
- Aerosol, propellant based preparation
- Homemade transdermal preparation
- Androgen-estrogen combination
- Counterfeit anabolic steroid
- Over the counter (OTC)
These preparations have a lot of variety to the characteristic that can be misused. Prescription steroids are classified as a schedule III controlled substance, including the counterfeit ones. Veterinarians use the over-the-counter or anabolic steroids making it easier for dealers to get illegally.
The following are some signs of steroid use:
- Quick weight gain with larger muscle mass
- Aggressiveness and bad attitude
- Jaundice / skin change
- Purple or red spots on the body
- Swelling of feet and lower legs
- Shaking or trembling
- Persistent body odors
- Severe acne breakouts with oily skin
When steroids are taken with a program of muscle building, there is an increase in body weight and muscular strength. Those teenagers who are steroid users subject themselves to all the side effects talked about in this article. Education and honesty is the best way to help combat steroid use among our teens.
Teenagers need help focusing on better ways to achieve a higher quality of living – a life free from not only anabolic steroids, but also from illicit drugs and alcohol. We must teach these kids ways to replace drugs and other harmful substances with healthy alternatives. It is only through knowledge and time spent with our teens that we can hope to raise well adjusted children who have been given the tools to cope with life on life’s terms.
Taylor N. William. “Anabolic Therapy in Modern Medicine”. 2002
“Medical Blunders and Treatment” 1996 “Macho Medicine: The History of the Anabolic Steroid Epidemic” 1991
Office of National Drug Control Policy. P.O. Box 6000, Rockville, Md. 20849-6000.
Center On Addiction and Substance Abuse
Berthold, Transplantation der Hoden. Arch. Anat. Physiol. Wissench. 1849, 42-46
Handbuch der Experimentellen Pharmakologie Vol. 43 Heffter Heubner New Series Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology.
Kochakian D. Charles “Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids. Springer- Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 1976.