Drug prevention lesson plans for 9th through 12th grade

912icon.gif (7313 bytes)Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic

steroids are a group of powerful compounds closely related to the male sex hormone

testosterone. Developed in the 1930s, steroids are seldom prescribed by physicians today.

Current legitimate medical uses are limited to certain kinds of anemia, severe burns, and

some types of breast cancer.

Taken in

combination with a program of muscle-building exercise and diet, steroids may contribute

to increases in body weight and muscular strength. Because of these properties, athletes

in a variety of sports have used steroids since the 1950s, hoping to enhance performance.

Today, they are being joined by increasing numbers of young people seeking to accelerate

their physical development.

Steroid

users subject themselves to more than 70 side effects ranging in severity from liver

cancer to acne and including psychological as well as physical reactions. The liver and

the cardiovascular and reproductive systems are most seriously affected by steroid use.

  In males, use can cause withered testicles, sterility, and impotence.  In

females, irreversible masculine traits can develop along with breast reduction and

sterility. Psychological effects in both sexes include very aggressive behavior known as

“roid rage” and depression. While some side effects appear quickly, others, such

as heart attacks and strokes, may not show up for years.

Signs of

steroid use include quick weight and muscle gains (if steroids are being used in

conjunction with a weight training program); behavioral changes, particularly increased

aggressiveness and combativeness; jaundice, purple or red spots on the body; swelling of

feet or lower legs; trembling; unexplained darkening of the skin; and persistent

unpleasant breath odor.

Steroids

are produced in tablet or capsule form for oral ingestion or as a liquid for intramuscular

injection.

Source

Learning

to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education’s Safe

and Drug-Free Schools Program

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