What are Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS)?
AAS are synthetic or human-made variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. “Anabolic” refers to muscle building and “androgenic” refers to increased male sex characteristics. Some people misuse these substances in an attempt to boost performance or improve their physical appearance. Anabolic-androgenic steroids are a schedule 3 controlled substance. Manufacturing or selling these drugs is a felony. For those who compete in athletics it could result in a ban from their team or sport.
Common Names for AAS:
Anabolic steroids were developed for legitimate medical reasons; they were never intended to be used for changing one’s physical appearance or helping get an edge in a sporting competition. These substances are a Schedule 3 controlled substance, and using them without a legitimate prescription from a medical doctor is illegal.
A medical doctor may prescribe someone anabolic steroids to help treat a variety of things including hormonal issues such as delayed puberty and diseases that cause muscle loss, such as AIDs and Cancer. They can also be prescribed to treat men who may have a testosterone deficiency. It would be illegal for a medical doctor to prescribe anabolic steroids to a healthy person to help them build muscle in order to improve performance for their respective sport.
When you hear the word “steroids”, many people’s minds go straight to a doctor’s office or maybe even a clean pharmaceutical lab.
This is not the case when obtained from the black market.
Anabolic Steroid Use:
What Are the Signs to Look For?
The rapid and unusual changes you may see fall into three basic categories:
• Physical: The most noticeable to see.
• Personality/Emotional: These often occur suddenly without visible triggers.
• Social: May be mistaken for natural tendencies in teens; be aware of excessive changes.
Impact to Vital Organs:
Steroids and the heart
According to researchers, long-term use of anabolic steroids appears to weaken the heart, but it is not clear if this weakening is reversible. In an effort to better understand the impact of long-term anabolic steroid use on the heart, cardiologist and researcher Aaron L. Baggish, MD, of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital performed heart function testing on weightlifters – steroid users and non-users.
Steroids and the kidneys
Leal Herlitz, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York recently conducted a study describing injury to the kidneys following long-term abuse of anabolic steroids.