Ever wondered how those bulky weight lifters got so big? While some may have
gotten their muscles through a strict regimen of weight-lifting and diet,
others may have gotten that way through the illegal use of steroids.
Steroids are synthetic substances similar to the male sex hormone
testosterone. They do have legitimate medical uses. Sometimes doctors prescribe
anabolic steroids to help people with certain kinds of anemia and men who don't
produce enough testosterone on their own. Doctors also prescribe a different
kind of steroid, called corticosteroids, to reduce swelling. Corticosteroids
are not anabolic steroids and do not have the same harmful effects.
By Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.
Because your body thinks you're about to starve. Thousands of years ago,
hunger was a caveman's primary source of anxiety. When food became scarce, his
body coped with the resultant stress by releasing steroids, which were absorbed
by his omentum — a fat reservoir that hangs like an apron over the stomach —
and promoting fat storage. And since your body doesn't know the difference
between a demanding boss and a depleted herd of mastodons, your omentum will do
But doctors never prescribe anabolic steroids to young, healthy people to
help them build muscles. Without a prescription from a doctor, steroids are
There are many different kinds of steroids. Here's a list of some of the
most common anabolic steroids taken today: anadrol, oxandrin, dianabol,
winstrol, deca-durabolin, and equipoise.
What Are the Common Street Names?
Slang words for steroids are hard to find. Most people just say steroids. On
the street, steroids may be called roids or juice. The scientific name for this
class of drugs is anabolic-androgenic steroids. Anabolic refers to
muscle-building. Androgenic refers to increased male characteristics. But even
scientists shorten it to anabolic steroids.
How Are They Used?
Some steroid users pop pills. Others use hypodermic needles to inject
steroids directly into muscles. When users take more and more of a drug over
and over again, they are called "abusers." Abusers have been known to
take doses 10 to 100 times higher than the amount prescribed for medical
reasons by a doctor.
Many steroid users take two or more kinds of steroids at once. Called
stacking, this way of taking steroids is supposed to get users bigger faster.
Some abusers pyramid their doses in 6-12-week cycles. At the beginning of the
cycle, the steroid user starts with low doses and slowly increases to higher
doses. In the second half of the cycle, they gradually decrease the amount of
steroids. Neither of these methods has been proven to work.