What are steroids? Steroids are synthetic chemicals that mimic the hormones produced by the body. Hormones control bodily functions and are separated into various classifications such as adrenal, cortical, cardiac, bile salts, vitamins, and sex hormones. Anabolic steroids that build muscle tissue are classified as sex hormones and they stimulate the action of the male sex hormone testosterone. When testosterone is released at the appropriate time it has the natural effects of creating body size, bone size, body hair, sex organ maturation, and muscle tissue development. They often have many different trade names or brand names. Commonly used anabolic steroids are Anavar, Sustanon, and Dianabol.
Anabolic steroids are prescription-only medicines. They are not controlled under the misuse of drugs act. It is not illegal to possess them for personal use. It is an offense to supply them. They can only be acquired from a chemist with a doctor's prescription. In addition, there is a large illicit market in anabolic steroids.
The primary use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is in replacement therapy for male testosterone. Other medical uses include growth promotion in certain forms of stunted growth, osteoporosis, mammary carcinoma, animas, and hereditary angioneurotic edema. The use of various physical and chemical aids in performance enhancement has been a feature of athletic competition since the beginning of recorded history. The ancient Greeks ate sesame seeds, bufotenin was used by the berserks in Norwegian mythology, and the Andean Indians and the Australian aborigines chewed, respectively, coca leaves and the pituri plant for stimulating and anti-fatiguing effects (Bowman, 1980). .
Athletes have used anabolic steroids to enhance appearance and performance for years. The first ergogenic use of anabolic-androgenic steroids was reported back in the 1950's among weightlifters and bodybuilders.