When abusers combine different types of steroids—such as those taken orally as well as those injected—it is called stacking. The idea behind the practice is that the different kinds interact to produce a greater effect. Many users try stacking in hopes of increasing the effectiveness of the combination of steroids, but there is no scientific evidence to back that theory up. According to the DEA's Dr.
In this method, users start with low doses then increase the dosage or the frequency until they reach a peak at mid-cycle. Then they gradually reduce the dosage or frequency down to zero. Typically, the pyramid cycle will last six to 12 weeks.
This is usually followed by a cycle when the user continues to train or exercise without taking steroids. Pyramid users believe the method gives the body time to adjust to the high dosages and the drug-free period allows the body's hormonal system time to recuperate. But again, the theory is not supported by scientific research.
The negative side effects linked to anabolic steroid abuse can range from those that are mildly annoying to those that can be life-threatening. Steroid abusers report experiencing health effects that range from developing acne problems to having heart attacks and liver cancer.
Most of the effects of using anabolic steroids are reversible when the person stops using the drugs, but some can be permanent. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most of the information the agency has gathered about the long-term effects of anabolic steroids has been obtained from case reports and not from formal epidemiological studies. The prevalence of life-threatening effects of steroid abuse seems to be very low from case studies, but the NIDA reports that serious adverse effects may be underreported and underrecognized because they sometimes do not appear until years after the abuse.
Anabolic steroid abuse can affect many different bodily systems. The following are some of those effects include the following. The disruption that steroid abuse causes to the body's normal production of hormones can cause some changes that are reversible and some changes that are irreversible. Reduced sperm production and shrinking of the testicles are two changes that can be reversed once the steroids are no longer used. Male-pattern baldness and breast development gynecomastia in men are two of the side effects of steroid abuse that cannot be reversed.
Women who abuse anabolic steroids can experience masculinization. Their voices can become deeper, their breast size and body fat can decrease, the clitoris can become enlarged and the skin can become coarse. Women can lose scalp hair, but experience excessive growth of body hair. With long-term steroid abuse, some of these changes in women can become irreversible, particularly the deepened voice.
According to the latest research available regarding anabolic steroids, there are several physical and mental effects of steroid abuse on males and females. Short-term adverse effects in men may include:. Short-term adverse effects in prepubertal boys may include:. Short-term adverse effects in women:. There is a limited amount of scientific research about the long-term effects of anabolic steroid abuse on men or women.
The "possible" long-term effects listed below come mostly from case studies. Long-term consequences of anabolic steroid abuse in men and women may include:. Other potential risks faced by anabolic steroid abusers in men and women:. Anabolic steroid abuse in male children can cause stunted growth. Normally, rising level of testosterone and other sex hormones trigger the growth spurt that takes place during puberty. It also provides the signals to tell the bones to stop growing. When steroid abuse artificially increases these sex hormone levels it can prematurely signal the bones to stop growing.
Side effects of steroids on the musculoskeletal system can include short stature if taken by adolescents and tendon rupture. Because steroid abuse can change the levels of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood, abusers can develop cardiovascular diseases. Steroid use, particular oral steroids, has been shown to reduce the level of high-density lipoprotein "good cholesterol" and increase the level of low-density lipoprotein "bad cholesterol" , resulting in the increased risk for atherosclerosis, which can cause heart attack and stroke.
Steroid abuse can also increase the risk of blood clots forming in the blood vessels. Research has found that anabolic steroid abuse can cause tumors to form in the liver. Steroids can also cause a rare condition known as peliosis hepatis, in which blood-filled cysts form in the liver. Internal bleeding can occur when either the tumors or the cysts rupture. Side effects of steroid abuse on the liver include:.
Effects of steroid abuse on the skin can include:. Because some who abuse steroids inject the drugs and use nonsterile injection techniques or share contaminated needles with other abusers, they are at increased risk for developing HIV and hepatitis B and C like all other injection drug users. Additionally, injection steroid users can develop endocarditis, an infection that can cause inflammation of the inner lining of the heart, a condition which can be fatal.
Indications are that high doses or anabolic steroids increase irritability and aggression which may be caused by secondary hormonal changes. As with the health effects of steroids, most of the information about the behavioral effects of steroid abuse comes from case reports and small studies.
In these case studies, anabolic steroid abusers report that when they are taking steroids they are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior such as fighting, armed robbery, burglary, theft, and vandalism than they are when they are drug-free, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The NIDA reports four studies in which volunteers were given high dosages of anabolic steroids.
In the fourth study, no such link to irritability and aggression was reported. The researchers speculated that it may be because some steroids, but not all, increase aggression. In a few controlled studies, aggression or adverse behavior was reported after steroid abuse, but only by a minority of the volunteers in the studies. There have been some reports of psychotic and manic reactions in both men and women who abuse anabolic steroids, but these have been rare occurrences and researchers believe they have most likely occurred in users with prior mental illness.
It is not known scientifically to what extent anabolic steroid use has on violence and behavioral disorders. The prevalence of extreme cases of violence among steroid abusers appears to be low, but as with the health effects, extreme violence could be underreported or underrecognized. Some other psychological effects of steroid abuse that have been reported include:.
Some research has found that use of anabolic steroids may cause users to turn to other drugs to alleviate the negative effects. One study found that 9. Of that 9. Some individuals who abuse anabolic steroids can develop patterns of behavior that are typical symptoms of people who are addicted.
Those behaviors include continuing use despite negative consequences, spending excessive time and effort in obtaining drugs, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. Some anabolic steroid users continue using the drugs despite experiencing physical problems and problems in their social relationships. The percentage of those who continue use in spite of negative consequences is not known. Many steroid abusers spend large amounts of time and money to obtain the drugs they use.
When they stop taking steroids, users can experience withdrawal symptoms that can include mood swings, restlessness, loss of appetite, and craving for steroids. One of the most serious withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping steroid use is depression because it can sometimes lead to suicide attempts, the NIDA reports.
Research reveals that if untreated, depression associated with anabolic steroid withdrawal can persist for a year or longer after use of the drug stops. Treatment options recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for anabolic steroid abuse are based more on case studies and physician experience rather than controlled studies.
There has been very little research into treatment for steroid abuse. These studies suggest that patients going through anabolic steroid withdrawal may only require supportive and educational therapy, in many cases. Though physicians need to evaluate them for suicidal thoughts due to steroid withdrawal. If withdrawal symptoms listed above become severe or prolonged, patients are given medications to treat the specific withdrawal symptoms.
For example, antidepressants for depression or analgesics for headaches and pain. Some steroid withdrawal patients receive medication to help restore their hormonal systems. Others are treated with behavioral therapies for withdrawal symptoms that go beyond pharmacological treatment. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Because the dangers of anabolic steroid abuse are so great and because there does exist a potential for some users to develop addictive-like behavior related to steroid use, efforts should be concentrated on preventing the use in the first place, especially among young student-athletes. By far the most prevalent anabolic steroid prevention programs in the U.
Very few local school districts have established steroid prevention programs. Even if such testing was more widespread, research has yet to clearly determine if drug testing is effective in reducing drug abuse. The NIDA is currently funding that research. Scientific studies have shown that teaching youth about the adverse effects of steroids alone is not as effective in preventing steroid use as well as programs that present both the risks and benefits of using anabolic steroids.
Students find a balanced approach more credible, the NIDA says. Although most secondary schools do not have official anabolic steroids prevention programs in place, there are programs available that have been shown to be effective in reducing steroid abuse, other substance abuse, and other risky behaviors.
The NIDA reports that these two sophisticated approaches have shown promise in preventing steroid abuse among high school sports players. The ATLAS program is designed to show high school football players that they can build powerful bodies and improve their athletic performance without using dangerous anabolic steroids. The program not only provides education about the harmful side effects of anabolic steroids but also provides nutrition and weight-training alternatives to using steroids.
According to NIDA research, the program has been successful in reducing the participants' intentions to use steroids while increasing their healthy behaviors. One of the hallmarks of the ATLAS program is that the football coaches and team leaders are the ones who teach the players about the harmful effects of steroids and other illicit drugs on sports performance.
They also discuss how to refuse if they are offered drugs. In controlled studies of the ATLAS program, researchers compared athletes in 15 high schools who were in the program with a control group who did not receive the training. The study found that ATLAS-trained athletes had less interest in trying steroids, less desire to abuse them, better knowledge of alternatives to steroid abuse, improved body image, and increased knowledge of diet supplements.
Stack attack! This kids-only sports craze is anything but child's play. Like juggling, sport stacking is popular in PE classes because it improves dexterity, or skill at using your hands. Stacking up: try your hand at a popular sport that's sweeping the nation. In a ring stacking topology it can provide up to Gigabit ports, up to 40Gbps of stacking bandwidth, and a switching capacity of up to Gbps per unit. TouchArcade: "Stack Heroes is a fun addition to the stacking genre! Concerns about KGD and the logistics of purchasing bare die have resulted in a plethora of package constructions that feature packaging stacking--either alone or in conjunction with bare die stacking.
Accurate strip stacking of narrow rubber strips has traditionally been a manual function, in order to lay strips into a basket or on a pallet, one or two laborers are required. Automated accurate rubber strip stacking--part 2. Additionally, these machines do not allow dense stacking , and a high percentage of the stack is actually air, an expensive product to ship. Automated accurate rubber strip stacking.
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