However, they are commonly known as anabolic-androgenic steroids, are not always developed in the laboratory.
Often, they’re developed in underground labs that don’t adhere to quality manufacturing standards, safety procedures and protocols, nor in the quality of their ingredients.
Who would want to buy such a drug? Unfortunately, a prevalent number of athletes and bodybuilders who want to get their hands on steroids without a prescription.
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It’s an unfortunate and inescapable truth that a number of drugs that are designed for medical use are often used illegally.
They may be misused and abused by individuals who want the benefits of those drugs without the oversight of a physician.
This is true for synthetic steroids, whose use can contribute to a number of physical as well as psychological side effects.
They’re especially dangerous when used by growing teens.
While growing education and research has helped to reduce a formerly rampant rise in steroid abuse, synthetic steroids continue to be one of the most prevalently smuggled and illegally purchased drugs around the world.
According to one article produced by Health Research Funding, the statistics (2015) regarding use of anabolic steroids is alarming and has produced eye-opening data:
According to the same statistics, it has been reported that an excess of 50 different types of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAs) are on the market today as well as over two dozen “stacking” stimulants and drugs that are often combined with them.
Even more alarming? Over 50% of steroid users claim that they would continue or use steroids even though they know it could cause harm to their health and shorten their lives.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, black market manufacture of synthetic steroids for sale exceeds $400 million annually.
Some of the most common synthetic steroids names are:
Synthetic human growth hormone is often lumped into the steroids category, but it’s technically not a steroid.
Anabolic steroids are simply a derivative or variation of the male hormone testosterone.
Today over one hundred varieties of such steroids have been developed, although only a few have been approved by governing organizations for human or veterinary medicine use. They are a scheduled as controlled substances.
Synthetic steroids have been used for athletic performance enhancement for decades.
The first “known” use of steroids in sports is during the 1956 Olympics when Soviet athletes admitted to using testosterone.
Since the 1970s, anabolic (synthetic) steroids have been used by athletes and bodybuilders, and it wasn’t until 1975 that their use was banned by the International Olympic Committee.
As you can see, anabolic steroids are nothing new. They date back to the 1930s when scientific research was able to develop a synthetic form of the male hormone testosterone for the treatment of hypogonadism.
During the Second World War, synthetic testosterone was often used to help underweight soldiers improve performance and add weight.
Synthetic anabolic steroids, as a derivative of testosterone, are often medically recommended in the treatment of hypogonadism or low testosterone levels in men.
Steroids have two effects on the body: anabolic or muscle building or strength effects, and androgenic effects, which influence sex characteristics such as masculinization (deeper voice, increased facial hair growth).
Today, two types of synthetic steroids are often used in approved medical treatments of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, allergy treatments, and delayed puberty as well as the aforementioned treatment for hypogonadism.
It is not medically recommended for athletic enhancement or bodybuilding efforts.
Synthetic steroids, whether prescribed or not, can have short-term and long-term effects for men and women.
These effects can range from mild such as headache, to severe, including damage to the liver, the heart, and even brain function.
Any substance, especially one similar to hormone production, can influence hormone glands and affect not only hormones and hormone functions, but the metabolic system, the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, and musculoskeletal systems and functions.
Short-term side effects such as development of severe acme, edema, weight gain, headaches, and insomnia are common.
Long term effects can include but are not limited to clotting disorders, increased potential of injury to muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and cardiovascular system damage that can increase the risk of premature heart attack or stroke.
Synthetic steroids can provide a number of benefits when used properly, but when not, often trigger not only physical side effects, but psychological ones as well.