Performance enhancing drugs have been documented throughout human history.
In the 1920s, testosterone (male hormone) was isolated and by World War 11 it was being administered to troops to overcome fatigue and injuries.
Since the 1950s, testosterone has been synthetically produced and its use was soon associated with athletic performance.
Anabolic steroids are a group of synthetic compounds which are structurally related to the natural male hormone testosterone. They produce anabolic activity (greater muscular bulk resulting in increased muscular strength) by increasing protein synthesis and androgenic activity (enhanced secondary sexual characteristics).
Administration is by intravenous or intramuscular injection and by the oral route.
Injectable forms are designed to be longer acting than orals and are released slowly over time.
The high rate of administration via injection has raised the concern and risk of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Primarily taken to increase muscle mass, they can also allow a user to train harder, promote a quicker recuperation phase and increase the healing process for some types of injuries.
Early effects can include increased confidence, energy, enhance motivation and enthusiasm, increased aggression and sexual appetite.
Larger doses can result in a loss of inhibition, lack of judgement and mood swings.
Prolonged users frequently become quarrelsome and aggressive.
Severe prolonged use can result in heart disease, liver damage, mental disorders and violence.
Physical addiction is not believed to occur but some users do become psychologically dependent, believing their physical and sporting achievements will be reduced without them.
Withdrawal symptoms can include severe depression, insomnia, lethargy, loss of appetite, headaches and craving for anabolic steroids.
What are your observations, experiences with steroids?