In one study, about 3% of high school students admitted to taking steroid pills or injections without a prescription. In other studies, it's estimated 1% to 6% of athletes’ abuse steroids. Males use steroids more often than females. Anabolic steroids may be prescribed to treat low testosterone and some forms of anemia. The term "anabolic" refers to processes that build up tissues in the body. Anabolic steroids promote muscle growth. Common anabolic steroids include testosterone gel (AndroGel), methandrostenolone (Dianabol), boldenone (Equipoise), stanozolol (Winstrol), nandrolone (Deca-Durabolin), and oxandrolone (Oxandrin).
People abuse steroids in order to "bulk up" and build larger muscles. They also hope to boost athletic performance. Anabolic steroid abuse may be associated with irritability, aggression, acne, baldness, infertility, heart attacks, cholesterol changes, high blood pressure, liver damage, and cancer. Men who abuse steroids may suffer testicle shrinkage and breast growth. Women who abuse steroids may develop male characteristics.
Withdrawal symptoms of steroids may include mood and sleep changes, reduced appetite, fatigue, and restlessness.