NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
Find NIDA for Teens on: NIDAnews on Twitter NIDANIH on YouTube Facebook NIDA-NIH on Flickr Sara Bellum Blog RSS
Lessons and Quizzes by Drug

Lessons and Quizzes: Anabolic Steroids

Mind Over Matter: Anabolic Steroids

Sara Bellum

Anabolic steroids are artificial versions of a hormone that's in all of us—testosterone. Some people take anabolic steroid pills or injections to try to build muscle faster.

Read the rest of Mind Over Matter: Anabolic Steroids

Classroom Activities: Anabolic Steroids

This activity focuses on steroids and provides you with a classroom activity. We recommend downloading the PDF version of this activity to print out and use with your students. The PDF version has been formatted to make it easier for students to learn, and removes all of the extra information provided on this Web page. To view and use the PDF file, you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Damage Diagram

Get the total picture of what steroids can do to your brain and body. Complete this diagram by matching the side effect with the body part. Draw a line from the side effect listed on the left to the matching body part on the right.

Side Effects:

  • Baldness can be caused by steroid abuse.
  • Because of how steroids act on the limbic system in the brain, mood swings, including homicidal rage, can occur.
  • Taking "roids" can cause pimples to pop up.
  • Females who take steroids can become more masculine. Their voices can deepen.
  • A condition called atherosclerosis can be caused by steroid use. This condition can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • When the body’s hormone balance is disrupted by taking steroids, males can develop breasts, a condition called gynecomastia.
  • Increased levels of hormones signal bones to stop growing.

Download this activity as a PDF Damage Diagram [78 kb] for use in the classroom. You must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF.

Test Your Knowledge Activity: Anabolic Steroids

Muscular Man

Question 1

The word “anabolic” means...

Correct! Athletes abuse anabolic Steroids in order to artificially increase muscle mass. Some people like to look big even if it means doing ugly things to their insides.

Well, the types of Steroids that are prescribed by doctors to reduce swelling are called corticoSteroids and are not addictive. When medication is taken in moderation it can be very helpful to a patient.

Wrong! Estrogen is any of several major female hormones that develop and maintain secondary female characteristics such as breasts. Both girls and boys have a balance of female male hormones.

No, but interesting anyway! Coined by the U.S. mathematician Edward Kasner's nephew, this term represents a number that is equal to one followed by 100 zeros and is expressed as 10 100.

Question 2

The body’s defense against germs and diseases is called...

Uh Uh! This term refers to a decimal system of weights and measures, adopted first in France but now used widely in science.

Nope! This term refers to the region of the brain that functions as the main control center for the autonomic nervous (system) by regulating sleep cycles, body temperature, appetite, etc

Yup! The immune system protects the body from foreign substances by destroying infected cells. When the immune system gets weak that's when we are more prone to getting sick.

No. This term refers to structures in the brain that are involved with emotions and memory.

Question 3

Anabolic Steroids in the brain may trigger behavior known as...

Right! This term refers to the aggressive behavior exhibited by those who regularly use Steroids. People may also become highly irritable, depressed and moody.

No. The use of Steroids makes the person anything but stable. Most people show irritable, aggressive, depressed and even moody behavioral changes.

If anything, the use of Steroids doesn't make an individual hilarious or even moderately funny due to severe mood swings.

While a person may get depressed during sustained use of anabolic Steroids, this is not the answer we were looking for.

Question 4

Healthy ways to gain muscle that won’t leave you feeling all gross and irritated with your friends and family include...

Yes! Lifting weights is the natural way to gain muscle mass on your body. Not only do muscles make you look more slender, but also you burn more calories per hour even when you are watching television!

French fries will not help you gain muscle, but eating a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables will help your body be healthy and strong.

Dream on! If increasing muscle mass was that easy, our country would have the most muscular populace in the world.

Nope! While playing chess may be good exercise for your brain, it won't help you build more muscles.