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What are the effects of steroid use/abuse on teens?

      Anabolics can affect bone growth during puberty:  The long
 bones of the legs and arms are still growing in early adolescence. 
 Plates of cartilage called "epiphyses" are present in the arms and
 legs at birth.  Bone lengthens from them until a certain point in
 time at the end of puberty.  A surge of the body's natural steroid
 hormones causes the epiphyses to close and become solid bone. 
 After they close, the body's long bones stop growing.  Adult height
 is fixed.  Taking one or more anabolic steroids during puberty in
 athletic doses imitates the hormone surge at the end of
 puberty.(1,2)  The epiphyses may close early, locking
 the adolescent into a shorter adult height.(2,3)  

      Acne is increased by anabolics.(1,2,4)  Acne
 decreases when steroid use is stopped, but may leave extensive
 scarring.(5)  In one reported case (4), acne was
 severe enough to send the steroid user to the hospital.  Drugs
 prescribed to treat acne (such as tetracycline and isotretinoin)
 may become toxic at normal doses if taken by a steroid
 abuser.(6)  When the liver enzymes are occupied by
 anabolics, they are unable to deactivate these prescription drugs
 at a normal rate.  The prescription drugs accumulate in the body,
 leading to toxic effects.(6)

      Male pattern baldness occurs in both male and female steroid
 abusers.(1,2,6)  Some medical authorities feel that
 hair growth returns when steroids are stopped.(6)  Others
 say that hair loss is irreversible.(2)


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REFERENCES 1. Yesalis CE, Wright JE, Bahrke MS. Epidemiological and policy issues in the measurement of the long term health effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids. Sports Medicine 1989 Sep;8(3):129-38. 2. Wilson JD. Androgen abuse by athletes. Endocrine Reviews 1988;9(2):181-99. 3. Kopera H. The history of anabolic steroids and a review of clinical experience with anabolic steroids. Acta Endocrin 1985;271:11-8. 4. Heydenreich G. Testosterone and anabolic steroids and acne fulminans. Arch Dermatol 1989 Apr;125:571-2. 5. Merkle T, Landthaler M, Braunfalco O. Acne conglobata-like exacerbation of acne vulgaris after ingestion of anabolic steroids and vitamin-b complex (in german). Hautarzt 1990 May;41(5):280-2. 6. Johnson MD. Steroids. Adolescent Med 1991 Feb;2(1):79-93. by Trent Tschirgi, R. Ph. (c) 1992 University of Maryland Office of Substance Abuse Studies. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Steroid use is illegal in a vast number of countries around the world. This is not without reason. Steroids should only be used when prescribed by your doctor and under close supervision. Steroid use is not to be taken lightly and we do not in any way endorse or approve of illegal drug use. The information is provided on the same basis as all the other information on this site, as informational/entertainment value.

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