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Drugs & Health Blog

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This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated.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.
Sara Bellum

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.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


If you follow a proper course of steroids and do your research first, this is not a problem at all.

The testicles only shrink for a short amount of time and will regain normal size after you have finished your course.

Stop spreading fear and mis-information.

i agree. Pro IFBB (Bodybuilders) and Mr. Olympia take steroids and don't have side affects. They have a doctor watching them.

steroids are bad and stupid go work out plus you can have increased colesterol liver damadge mood swings breast devolpment and acne there dumb.

uummmmmmmm i tink that they are bad

Side effects of steroids can be very serious and even fatal. High blood pressure is also a chance when taking steroids. And for guys, a chance to have man boobs, ew. [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

Steroids are not worth it but we need to do something to combat, the natural decline in testosterone which is unhealthy all around...I wrote a whole article which I think your readers can benefit from here [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

The law is so much into fighting narcotics. But aren't steroids harmful enough for the law to do something about it? [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

I know steroid abuse can cause really bad acne for some people probably because their hormones start rising at an alarming rate. Its like you putting your body through puberty again. jlclifton [commercial link removed, per guidelines]