The risks of anabolic steroid abuse include both temporary and permanent damage to anyone who uses them, especially teenagers. There are many assumptions about who is at risk for steroid abuse. However, several studies and studies have found that steroid use is more common among young girls than many realize.
The 2017 Adolescent Behavioral Risk Tracking report indicates that the prevalence of female students who used steroids during some period of their lives was 2.4%. Although this percentage may seem low, it corresponds to about 1 in 42 young people.
The use of steroids in young girls is alarming, as drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone, a male sex hormone, can have devastating results for girls taking anabolic steroids. Some long-term effects include growth retardation, infertility, and permanent secondary male characteristics. The use of anabolic steroids, in addition to causing permanent physical changes, significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and can cause various mental changes. Improper steroid use also increases the risk of certain infections, such as hepatitis, HIV, and intramuscular abscesses, when using unhealthy needles to inject steroids.
It is important for parents and adults who communicate with adolescents on a regular basis to be aware of the signs associated with steroid use, as people are likely to start using steroids at age 20 or 20. It is very important to understand why girls use steroids and to recognize the signs that girls are taking steroids in order to provide proper support and guidance to all girls who are at risk of abusing anabolic steroids.
Why do girls use steroids?
A study published in 2007 found that steroid use in young girls was often associated with a variety of high-risk behaviors, as opposed to competitive sports or weight training. These risky behaviors can include abuse, promiscuity, and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts.
What are steroids used for when abused by teenage girls? Some reasons can be:
• Look more toned. Anabolic steroids are generally considered “body shaping drugs” and therefore may be desirable for girls who are interested in their appearance and physical appearance.
• Feel stronger. Anabolic steroids increase muscle mass, which can increase strength. While increased strength may be necessary for an athlete, it can also be necessary for someone who has been attacked.
• Group pressure. Adolescence is a vulnerable time, especially for young women. Peer pressure often affects the abuse of young people.
Recognition of steroid use in young women:
Anabolic steroids have a number of serious side effects on many organs. In many cases, the damage from steroid use, especially steroid use during adolescence, can be irreversible. It is important that adults who communicate with adolescents on a regular basis are aware of the signs of steroid use in adolescence so that they can intervene in a timely manner and possibly prevent irreversible damage.
Symptoms of steroid use in women can include:
• Hair growth. Anabolic steroids mimic the effects of testosterone in the body, and like men, facial hair grows because her body produces testosterone, a woman may experience an increase in facial hair.
• Deepening of the voice. Symptoms of steroid use in women may include the development of a deeper voice, similar to the tone of a male voice. Deepening of the voice can be a clear indicator of steroid use, as you normally wouldn’t expect a young woman’s voice to suddenly change.
• Reduction in body fat (including loss of curvature of the breasts and hips). The reduction in body fat can be one of the desirable effects for steroid abuse. However, the reduction in body fat is not focused on certain areas and may involve fatty tissue in the breasts and hips. Breast reduction is said to be a sign of female steroid use which is said to be a major problem as female body fat is crucial for the regulation of female hormones.
• Increase in muscle mass. The increase in muscle mass is generally a desirable effect for steroid abuse. However, changes in the mechanical function of the limbs due to increased muscle mass can lead to tendon damage.
• Hair loss on the top of the head. One of the long-lasting side effects of steroids in women or men is premature baldness.
• Changes in the menstrual cycle (or loss of cycle). The use of anabolic steroids in women can lead to significant changes in reproduction. A common question about steroid use in women is, “Can steroids cause infertility in women?” They can and changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle are an indicator of a long-term risk of infertility.
• Marbled skin. The use of anabolic steroids can cause a number of cosmetic effects on the skin, including acne, oily hair, and purple or red spots on the body. These effects may be obvious, but they can easily be overlooked as changes that typically occur in adolescent girls.
• Psychological effects and mood swings. Mood swings are possible with anabolic steroids and other psychological changes. Other psychological effects of steroid use can include irritability, hostility, personality changes, and psychosis. The use of anabolic steroids can also lead to psychological dependence, which makes it difficult for a girl to stop using a steroid. Steroid use, especially in women, is usually accompanied by extreme dissatisfaction with body image. Effective treatment for steroid abuse should include proper counseling with trained personnel to help the girl cope with all the psychological effects of steroid use.
Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice). Anabolic steroids can affect liver function and steroid injection increases the risk of hepatitis caused by the use of unhygienic needles. Yellowing of the skin or eyes, also known as jaundice, requires immediate medical attention.
If you are concerned that your daughter is abusing steroids, consult a trained professional who will provide you with the appropriate support and advice. It is also important to try to find out how and where the teenager gets anabolic steroids. Because anabolic steroids require a prescription and are considered a controlled substance, it is illegal to use them without a prescription or to give them to someone who does not have a prescription.