Numerous detailed medical reports of the dangerous side effects of anabolic steroid use in teenagers exist. My prior postings on adolescents and testosterone-mimicking drugs focused on the incidence and warning signs. As a physician, parent, and former doping control official I boil them down to their medical and psychosocial essence.
Serious health endangering problems with early onset (within a few years) include stunted growth due to premature maturation of bone growth, liver toxicity, testicular shrinkage, and sexual dysfunction. Appearance modifying side effects include enlargement of male breast tissue, baldness, increase body hair and deepening of the voice in both sexes. Clitoral enlargement and menstrual problems are common.
Severe problems with behavioral control (‘roid rage), aggressive and self-destructive behavior can be associated with suicide.
There are a host of possible late onset problems affecting the heart, circulatory, and sex organs. I classify them as premature aging and linking them to youthful steroid use may be difficult.
The rate of onset and degree of danger poised by all of the above is dependent in the dose taken and the duration of its use. Don’t forget steroids can become addictive. If you think your child is using steroids make certain they understand the consequences listed above. The body build boost they seek is no free lunch and is only an Internet click away from your front door.