Anabolic steroids are a synthetic drug which imitates the effects of the male sex hormone testosterone. Anabolic steroids are often prescribed to men with abnormally low testosterone levels, or to men with anemia.
While steroids may be legitimately prescribed by a physician, they are often used illegally by individuals seeking to build muscle mass. In recent years, professional athletes in baseball, football, and other sports have been implicated in the illegal use of steroids, leading to Congressional investigations into the practice.
The documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster examines the prevalent use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs in the bodybuilding community. Cultural icons such as Hulk Hogan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are examined for the legal handling of their steroid use.
The use of steroids can have severe and debilitating long-term effects on the body. Steroids can damage internal organs such as the liver and heart, can create abrupt mood changes, and in teenagers, can permanently stunt growth.