Anabolic Steroids

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  • performance & image enhancing drugs
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What are anabolic steroids?

Most anabolic androgenic steroids are synthetic products based on the structure of testosterone, the natural male sex hormone responsible for the development of masculine characteristics.

Anabolic means tissue building and muscular development and androgenic means male producing, and is responsible for the development of secondary male sex characteristics such as deepening of the voice and increased body hair.

Anabolic steroids are very different from steroids commonly used for medical treatment (corticosteroids) such as prednisone, which is used to treat asthma. 

Download the anabolic steroids fact sheet.

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Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic Steroids

Synthetic Steroid Methandrostenolone

(C20H28O2)

Athletes, body builders and some young people may use steroids illegally to improve their physical appearance and to enhance their sporting performance. Steroids are also used illegally for body modification. When prescribed by a doctor and used according to instructions, steroids can help treat some medical conditions.

Physical effects can include

  • increased LDL chloesterol levels
  • diabetes
  • stunt growth in children and teenagers
  • acne

Effects can depend on...

What steroids do to you depends on how much you use, how often you use, your size and weight, your age and whether you are male or female.

It can also depend on how good your general health is, whether you use steroids with other drugs and if there is a family history of health issues such as blood pressure, kidney problems or liver problems etc.

  • enlarged clitoris (women)
  • bloating
  • jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes)
  • baldness
  • shrinking testicles (men)
  • enlargement of the prostate (men)
  • infertility
  • hair growth on face, back and bottom (women)
  • problems with menstrual cycle (women)

How anabolic steroids affects your body

Tap a body part to learn more of the effects anabolic steroids places on your body.

Psychological effects can include

  • depression
  • paranoia and psychosis
  • increased aggression
  • over competitiveness
  • anxiety
  • anger
  • mood changes
  • frustration

General information

Are anabolic steroids a problem for you?

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  • The Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) is a free and confidential counselling helpline for NSW residents with concerns around alcohol and/or drug misuse and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ADIS is staffed by professional counsellors who provide education, information, counselling, support and referrals to other appropriate services in NSW.

    Are you worried you could be drinking too much or consuming drugs in a way that has become a problem? Are you worried about your friends or family finding out and want to get help quickly and quietly? Are you worried about the drug use of someone close to you – maybe a family member or friend? Maybe you just want to know where someone can get help? 

    ADIS clinicians understand the difficulties of speaking out, seeking help and finding appropriate drug and alcohol treatment, and use their knowledge and experience to assist you and answer questions, such as:

    • How can I cut-down or stop my alcohol or drug use?
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    You can call ADIS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 250 015 or for Sydney Metropolitan 02 8382 1000 or alternatively you can start a Web Chat.

    ADIS Web Chat is available from Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays).

    ADIS also has a range of telephone lines offering specialised drug and alcohol information and support to particular groups.

    24 hour support line

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    More about Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW
  • ​​The Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) Web Chat is a live online conversation with a professional counsellor. The service is free, confidential and open to anyone affected by alcohol and other drugs, including people concerned about their own use, or about a family member or friend. Web chat is only available for people living in NSW.

    The service is provided by ADIS at St Vincent's Hospital, in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health.

    What to expect

    • A counsellor will chat with you about your alcohol or other drug concerns
    • A counsellor can provide a referral or contact information for relevant alcohol and drug services in NSW
    • Our chat is confidential unless you disclose any intention to harm yourself or others.
    • WebChat is provided in English however if you prefer to speak in a language other than English we would be happy to arrange a telephone call with you through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Please call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015 to arrange this.

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    Call Emergency Services on 000 if you:

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  • Your Service Hub is an online directory of alcohol and other drugs support, health and welfare services. If you need support for your own or someone else's substance use, you should use terms in Find Services like:

    • drug and alcohol family support

    • drug and alcohol Aboriginal services 

    • drug counselling

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    • drug and alcohol residential treatment

    Use your suburb name to narrow the search to services near you.

    Not sure what service you need? Call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015.

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  • PeerLine is confidential service run by the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA). NUAA works to improve the health, welfare and dignity of people who use drugs. 

    PeerLine is a free, confidential peer supported telephone service for people who use drugs, who are on the Opioid Treatment Program or seeking treatment. Trained peers will help you with information, advice and advocacy

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    PeerLine is available from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

    Call for free on 1800 644 413 or email peerline@nuaa.org.au to connect.

    Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

    1800 644 413

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  • The NSW Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) is an evidence-based public health program that aims to reduce the transmission of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. NSP outlets provide sterile injecting equipment such as needles and syringes, Fitpacks and other injecting equipment (such as swabs, water, spoons and cotton balls) as well as disposal facilities free of charge.

    NSP outlets are staffed by specialist workers who provide access to sterile injecting equipment, promote safe disposal practices and facilitate referrals to health, welfare and community services as needed. NSP outlets may also be able to assist with testing for blood borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C. You may not even require a blood test such as with the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) test. Ask your NSP staff member or visit dbstest.health.nsw.gov.au for more information. 

    Who is the program for?

    The NSP is for people who inject drugs to avoid contracting or transmitting blood borne diseases and to provide a place for safe disposal of sharps containers (needles and syringes).

    NSP Outlets in NSW

    To help the community access the program, an interactive map has been developed listing all public NSP outlets across NSW. Use the map below to find your nearest NSP outlet or refer to the NSP listing by suburb page for details.

    If you would like further information and/or advice call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015.

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