Anabolic and androgenic steroids are available as prescription medications to be used in cases in which the body does not make enough hormone and supplementation may be required. Some hormone supplements in this pathway include growth hormone and testosterone itself. These medications are legally prescribed by health-care providers, but this group of drugs is often used illegally and abused to help increase athletic performance and improve body appearance. When used in a well-nourished body, anabolic steroids will cause weight gain primarily due to an increase in muscle mass.
Awareness and educational efforts are working to help prevent anabolic steroid abuse in schools and communities. The Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) and the Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) programs, funded by the NIDA, and supported by the Oregon Health & Science University programs is teaching athletes that they do not need steroids to build powerful muscles and improve athletic performance. These programs provide weight-training and nutrition alternatives, increase healthy behaviors, less likelihood to try steroids, and less likelihood to engage in other dangerous behaviors such as drinking and driving, use of marijuana and alcohol , and and improved body image. Bother Congress and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration endorsed these model prevention programs. 4
For an easy point of reference, we have provided two charts below detailing the effects of steroids. We have listed the most common and popular anabolic steroids by their actual compound name and most popular trade name where such applies. While there are other steroids not mentioned, such steroids are extremely rare and will not be used by most individuals or even be available to them. Within the first chart, we have provided the score each steroid holds in-regards to muscle mass promotion, strength promotion, and cutting effect. The three categories are all measured on a scale of one to ten (1-10); it should be noted, just because a steroid has a lower score does not mean it’s worthless; it simply means other steroids perform the specific action with a higher score. Further, in the second chart, each steroid is also listed in accordance to classification; testosterone or dihydrotestosterone based, 19-nortestosterone, and labeled by its aromatizing or progestin nature as well as hepatotoxicity; this will guide you along as it pertains to side-effects by referencing the negative effects of steroids discussion above. For our female friends, we have also included virilization scores; this time with a high, moderate to low ranking. In the second chart, each steroid is simply listed by its most commonly used name.