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Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066


Anabolic steroids.

What do Steroids look like?

Tablets and injectable liquid in bottles or Ampoules.

Steroids: tablets and liquid

Scientific Names

Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS)

Generic Name

Product names include: Anavar, Deca-Durabolin, Dianabol, Stanozolol, Sustanon 250.

Effects Of Steroids

Desired Effects:

Enhanced muscle mass & performance, greater physical definition.


In men, inability to get an erection, sterility/impotence, shrinking and hardening of the testicles, breast enlargement.

In women, enlarged clitoris, disruption to menstrual cycle, growth of facial hair, acne, deepening of the voice. If used when pregnant risk of severe damage to foetus.



Psychiatric symptoms including aggression and violence, mania, mood swings.


Dependence, Tolerance, liver damage, heart disease, Paranoia, increased aggression sometimes known as 'roid rage'. Harmful changes in cholesterol, acnes, high blood pressure and dangerous changes in the structure of the heart. If taken by young people the abuse of anabolic steroids can interfere with normal growth. If this or any other drug is injected there are risks associated with this form of drug use: it can cause vein damage, ulcers and gangrene particularly if using unhygienic Needles or the same injection site. Shared needles and other injecting equipment can spread HIV and Hepatitis virus infections.

Reducing Harm

Information to help with Reducing Harm when using Steroids

How do Steroids work?

They increase the building of cell proteins, which results in the build up of cellular tissue, especially in muscles. Anabolic steroids also have properties that include the development and Maintenance of masculine characteristics such as the growth of the vocal cords and body hair.

Legal status of Steroids

Class C, under the Misuse of Drugs Act - legal to possess, illegal to supply without a prescription.

How Are Steroids Taken?

Orally, intramuscular injection. Steroids should never be injected into a vein.


If injected, Needles and Syringes.

Medical uses for Steroids

These drugs can be legally prescribed to treat conditions resulting from steroid hormone deficiency, such as delayed puberty, but also body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass such as anaemia; also bone disease, breast cancer, and hormone therapy.

Where do they come from?

Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are manufactured steroid hormones related to the hormone testosterone. Anabolic refers to muscle-building and androgenic refers to increased male sexual characteristics. Steroids refers to the class of drugs. Diverted from pharmaceutical industry or imported into Britain.

Helping services

Most areas of the UK have ‘street agencies’ or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. If use of this substance becomes a problem you can seek help, advice and counselling from a service in your area. GPs can make referrals to specialist drug services. For those suffering psychological problems due to steroid use, counselling agencies may be appropriate.

For more information, please go to the IPEDS website.

Parents & other relatives

Many drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents, family members and partners of people using drugs. They may provide relative support groups or advice, guidance and counselling on a one to one basis.

You can view a list of National Drug Agencies.

If you would like to talk about Steroids problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234