The purpose of this website is to provide a basic understanding of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, commonly known simply as "steroids", and to identify signs and symptoms commonly associated with steroid abuse.

Module One - Legal Concerns

Module Two - How are they taken

Module Three - Psychological effects of AAS abuse

Module Four - Things to Consider


Supervisor's Guide to Understanding Anabolic Androgenic Steroids

Steroids are a group of chemical substances that have certain structural similiarities. Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) constitutes a subgroup of this category that includes the physiological (normal) human male hormone testosterone as well as related compounds with similar functions.


AAS have some legitimate medical uses, but are frequently abused for illegitimate, recreational uses (bodybuilding, weightlifting, or "bulking up", as well as athletic performance enhancement). Interestingly, unlike other abused drugs, AAS are not abused for "getting high." On the contrary, these drugs are used for body image, body building, athletic performance, and some might even say they use them to perform their job better (because they help them to be "bigger and stronger"). Although one might think AAS are mostly abused by athletes, studies show the majority of abusers are not involved in competitive sports.

AAS should not be confused with other types of "steroids", such as corticosteroids. Corticosteroids, including hydrocortisone and prednisone, are prescribed widely for legitimate medical purposes (for example, skin creams to treat rashes, in asthma inhalers, and so on.) Corticosteroids do not cause increases in muscle mass, have almost no abuse potential, and are almost never sold on the illicit market. Also, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is not a steroid, and is not a controlled substance, rather is a prescription only medication. HGH is regulated by prescription and its only use is to treat stunted growth in children. All other uses are likely not legitimate.

AAS are controlled substances. They are prescribed by physicians for certain specific, legitimate medical reasons, such as treatment of a condition known as hypogonadism (abnormally low testosterone production in men), cancer (to suppress certain kinds of tumors), a rare genetic condition call angioneurotic edema, AIDS wasting syndrome, and some forms of anemia (a low red blood cell counts).

One can find the prescribed uses by looking to the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA labels specify allowable "indications" or uses, for all regulated drugs. The legitimate uses of AAS are minimal as noted; for example, an employee who states that a physician provided the AAS for "elbow pain" would be using them inappropriately.

Points to Consider

  • AAS are not abused for "getting high."
  • AAS should not be confused with other types of "steroids" such as corticosteroids.
  • HGH is NOT a steroid
  • AAS are controlled substances
  • The legitimate uses of AAS are minimal