Drugs of Abuse
Drug Type: Steriods
Anabolic Steroids (Synthetic forms of the male hormone testosterone)
Other Names: Steroids, roids, androgens, hormones, juice, product
What it looks like: Clear liquid which should be in a labeled vial. Tradenames for steroids include:
Tablets which will have identifying markings on it
How it is used:
- Liquid form is injected into the muscle
- Tablets are taken orally
*To be effective, steroids are usually taken every day.
Effect of the drug: Help build muscle and strength, although very few steroid users experience the effect of developing large muscles like those seen in bodybuilding magazines. The user’s response to steroids is based on genetics. FDA-approved steroids are used to treat conditions such as scars, severe burns and cancer.
Negative Effects/Overdose Effects:
- Severe acne
- Sterility/Sexual dysfunction
- Aggression, also referred to as "roid rage"
- For females-deepening voice, excessive body hair, reduction in breast size
- Male breast enlargement
- Stunts growth in young users
- Organ damage/Cardiovascular problems
What to look for:
- Physical changes in appearance such as those previously listed above
- Negative change in attitude or behavior such as aggressive behavior or irritability.
- Frequent or severe mood swings
- Obsession/self-absorption regarding the body
Paraphernalia Associated with Drug Use:
- Discarded vials/syringes/needles
- Glass Ampules
- Blister packs (airtight foil packages for the pills)
- Presence of literature on use of steroids/androgens/ testoterone for building muscle.
Potential for Abuse: There is a black market for steroids. Many illegal varieties are smuggled in from other countries, like Mexico. Unfortunately, many of the steroids obtained from Mexico tend to be fake. The drug is primarily used by athletes and body builders and is usually purchased through friends, or a contact at a health club or gym. Because steroids are usually injected, users risk contracting infectious, deadly diseases like AIDS or hepatitis if infected needles are (shared) used. Steroids range in price from $15 to $1000 dollars each, making them a hefty investment with no guaranteed results. The only guarantees regarding the continued illicit use of steroids are severe side effects and long-term health complications.