Clinical assessment and urine testing for anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse and dependence

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1991 Jun;17(2):161-71. doi: 10.3109/00952999108992819.


The emerging epidemic of anabolic-androgenic steroid use, no longer confined to elite athletes, is associated with adverse health consequences for which users may seek treatment. As with other forms of drug abuse, patients may deny or hide their use of steroids while seeking treatment for bothersome side effects or other problems. Thus, clinicians may increasingly, but unknowingly, see patients who are using steroids. Early detection and treatment of steroid abuse and dependence is critical in order to prevent serious and potentially fatal consequences. Therefore, it is incumbent upon clinicians to know the signs and symptoms of using steroids, and to be familiar with the clinical indications for urine testing. Using case examples, the authors review the assessment of steroid abuse and dependence in clinical practice and illustrate the role of urine testing in the assessment process.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents* / pharmacokinetics
  • Cocaine / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Substance-Related Disorders / urine
  • Testosterone Congeners* / adverse effects
  • Testosterone Congeners* / pharmacokinetics
  • Weight Lifting


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Testosterone Congeners
  • Cocaine