Hit the Gym, Not the Pills

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
pills spelling out steroids

Most of us have something about ourselves that we’d like to change. Too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too stocky, too anything… In fact, research suggests that more than half of teens are unsatisfied with their bodies for some reason. Some teens are so concerned about their bodies that they take unhealthy or extreme actions, such as taking steroids or diet pills or supplements, or trying to limit their calories too much.

Today, SBB will focus on steroids, which are unhealthy and illegal without a doctor’s prescription.

Doctors can prescribe anabolic steroids to treat anemia (a condition where the blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells) or to treat men with low testosterone levels. However, some healthy teens—both male and female—turn to steroids to help build muscle or improve athletic performance.

Scary Side Effects

To build muscle, people who take steroids illegally have been known to take doses 10 to 100 times higher than those prescribed by a doctor. Taking such high doses can cause some ugly side effects, to put it mildly. In addition to stunting your growth and causing severe acne, these include:

  • For guys—shrinking of the testicles, development of breasts, and baldness, among others.
  • For girls—growth of facial hair, baldness, and a permanently deepened voice

Steroids can also cause extreme mood swings, violent behavior, depression, irritability, paranoia, jealousy, and impaired judgment. None of these things will make you the life of the party!

Are steroids worth it? Let us know what YOU think... Find out more about steroid abuse.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

Related Articles

Say What? “Relapse”
July 2018

A person who's trying to stop using drugs can sometimes start using them again. Fortunately, treatment can help to lower...