The Symtoms of Steroid Use in Teens

Many people use steroids illegally to build muscles. But they can also cause serious health problems. Some of the symtoms are easy to recognize, such as the growth of facial hair in girls or an outbreak of acne in boys. The others can be harder to spot. But if you think someone is abusing steroids, it’s important to talk about it.

Some people abuse steroids because of a mental health symtoms of steroid use condition called body dysmorphic disorder. This means they spend too much time worrying about flaws in their appearance. Adolescent boys with this disorder often take steroids to try to make themselves look bigger and stronger.

Steroids come in tablet, injection, or cream form and can be taken with or without food. They’re usually used for a short period of time. Some people “cycle” their steroids, taking different types over a few weeks, then stopping for a few weeks. Other people “stack” or pyramid their steroids, starting with a low dose and increasing the dose over time. Some steroid users also believe that stacking enhances the effect of each drug.

Using steroids may cause some teens to have emotional and social problems. They might be more aggressive or combative, and they may have trouble concentrating at school or in work. They may also become more depressed or suicidal. They might also get into fights with friends or family members or have trouble sleeping. Some people who abuse steroids also drink or use other drugs to help them cope with these problems.

Teens who use steroids are at high risk for liver disease and heart disease. They can also develop problems with their eyes, such as glaucoma or cataracts. They may also have a problem with their bones that makes them more likely to break their bones, sometimes after very minor injuries.

Steroid use also can interfere with the normal development of a boy’s or girl’s hormones. In boys, this can lead to shrunken testicles and reduced sperm count. They might also end up with breasts, a condition called gynecomastia. In girls, it can lead to a decrease in feminine characteristics and more masculine traits, such as deep voices and excess body hair.

In addition, if teens inject steroids with a needle, they might get hepatitis or a liver disease. They also could get a disease in the inner lining of their heart, called endocarditis. They’re also at risk of getting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), which causes AIDS, if they share dirty needles.

If you think someone is using steroids, talk to a doctor or counselor. You can find a counselor through your school, through a community mental health center, or through an alcohol and drug service agency in your area. Peer support can also be helpful. If you’re an athlete, your coach or trainer should be able to refer you to someone who can offer advice on how to quit using steroids. They can also tell you about safe ways to increase your muscle size and strength without using steroids.

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