Monday, 27 December 2010


Use of steroids to enhance/recover sexual power probably occurred thousands of years ago through unsophisticated use of gonads.
However, the first steroid hormone was discovered and isolated in 1930's. In 1931 out of tens of thousands of litres of urine a chemist called Aflred Butenandt isolated anabolic steroid hormone and later synthesized testosterone. During the second world war prisoners in concentration camps had steroid hormones administered to them as part of medical experimentation. Adolf Hitler also received a number of testosterone injections for various of his ailments according to his medical records.
After the war, medicinal use of these hormones was to help those who really needed it.
The abuse of steroids amongst sportsmen and women was to improve their athletic performance which led to unfair advantage when undetected. Various attempts to control steroid abuse through legal measures followed as well as different ways of cheating through the intermittent abuse of steroids in order to avoid detection.
The abuse of steroids spread to those who use it for body building but outside competitive situations. The abuse of steroids by some police officers and amongst fireman is thought to now affect 25% of these professionals in USA. The problem occurs worldwide, but it is not certain to what extent.
The legislation is different in different countries. Punitive measures include imprisonment e.g. for supplying other police officers. This is not the case in all the countries. The doses used in steroid abuse are hundred times higher than what doctors would prescribe. Some people use steroids meant for veterinary practice.
The side effects of steroids can include: aggression, excessive use of force (resulting in deaths of victims), depression, mania, psychotic symptoms, paranoia and wild mood swings.
As these hormones have the effect of causing so called programmed cell death, withdrawal of steroids may not lead to complete psychiatric recovery because dead nerve cells do not regrow.
Thus, one may be seeing a new epidemic of mental health problems of novel causation.
Disciplinary measures in cases of police, firemen and others may now have to include random, compulsory testing for steroids and not just usual illicit drugs.
Unfortunately, the testing for steroids has not been done always in cases of unprovoked aggression e.g. by police. Needless to say, women abuse these hormones as well.
There are other side effects of steroids that can occur in some cases of abuse such as hair loss as well decrease in sexual performance. Some people react to their impotence with violence and aggression. Thus multiple causes of aggression do occur with steroid abuse: physical and psychological.


Urgent Support for Doctors

  • Sick Doctors Trust (For those with dependency problems) 0870 444 5163
  • Doctors for Doctors 08459 200 169
  • Doctors Support line 0870 765 0001
  • NHS-Direct 08456 46 47
  • BMA Counselling Service 08459200169
  • Samaritans 08457 90 90 90
  • National Bullying Helpline 0845 22 55 787