Anabolic steroid abuse

Adv Pediatr. 1990;37:185-205.


Anabolic steroids are capable of increasing strength and muscle bulk in certain individuals when combined with a proper diet and an intense training program. Any steroid that is anabolic is also androgenic. Anabolic steroids are fraught with numerous side effects, a few of which are potentially life threatening, and some of which are permanent. Most of the side effects are mild and reversible. Use of anabolic steroids in sports is as much a moral issue as a medical one. Drug testing has not been a very successful means to eradicate abuse in the sporting arena. Education alone is probably not the answer to stopping anabolic steroid abuse but is an essential first step in combating this problem. Use of anabolic steroids in athletes is a form of cheating, and use will likely continue, especially if the rewards for success in sports remain so high. Physicians should avoid condemning individuals who choose to use anabolic steroids and encourage discussion of use with their health providers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anabolic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Substance-Related Disorders*


  • Anabolic Agents