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Anabolic Steroids (AAS) are also known as “roids” are drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone in the body. Roids increase protein synthesis within cells, which results in the build up of cellular tissue (anabolism) especially in muscles. This increase allows the user to put on more muscle mass in a very short amount of time with exercise.
Steroids are used in various ways. Steroids are either taken orally in tablet form or injected intramuscularly. Users rely on word of mouth and misleading websites to determine dosage levels that may not be safe. Individuals abusing steroids take megadoses of hundreds of milligrams per day, whereas doctors prescribe only 1 to 5 mg. per day for legitimate medical uses. Users are under the false assumption that taking more steroids will yield better results, users typically take many types of steroids in combination with other drugs, a phenomenon known as “stacking.” Users often take steroids in “cycles” where they use steroids for six to 12 weeks at a time punctuated by periods where they do not take steroids. Steroid users do this to avoid building up a tolerance.
Steroids have both positive and negative effects. Just like every other drug there are a lot of risks to taking steroids but many users believe the the positive effects out weigh the risks. Commonly reported positive effects:
- Increased leanness/ muscle definition
- Increased muscle mass/weight
- Increased strenght
- Increased effectiveness of training
- Improved recovery rate
- Increased aggressiveness
- Increased sex drive
Because of these positive effects, many users just chose to ignore the risks as well as the long term effects associated with steroid use.