Teenagers should not take steroids, particularly anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), which are synthetic substances related to male sex hormones. AAS use is not recommended for teenagers due to the potential short-term and long-term health risks associated with their use. Some of the risks include:
Stunted growth: AAS use can cause premature closure of growth plates in bones, leading to stunted growth and height.
Hormonal imbalances: AAS can disrupt the balance of hormones in the body, leading to side effects like acne, mood swings, and aggressive behavior ("roid rage").
Liver damage: Some AAS, particularly oral steroids, can cause liver damage or even liver failure.
Cardiovascular issues: AAS use can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Reproductive system complications: AAS use can lead to reduced sperm production in males and menstrual irregularities in females.
Psychological effects: AAS use has been associated with an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, particularly after discontinuing their use.
Addiction: AAS use can lead to dependence, with users experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drugs.
Teenagers who want to improve their athletic performance or physical appearance should focus on a well-rounded exercise program that includes resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility training, as well as maintaining a balanced diet and proper hydration. This approach will help them achieve their goals in a healthy and sustainable manner.
Hoffman, J. R., & Ratamess, N. A. (2006). Medical issues associated with anabolic steroid use: are they exaggerated? Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 5(2), 182-193. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827559/
Kanayama, G., Hudson, J. I., & Pope, H. G. (2008). Long-term psychiatric and medical consequences of anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse: A looming public health concern? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 98(1-2), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.05.004
NIDA for Teens. (2020). Steroids and Other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APEDs). National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/anabolic-steroids
Please note that these sources may not be the most recent, and it is recommended to search for more up-to-date literature when researching the topic of steroid use among teenagers.