Anabolic steroids are synthetic, or human-made, variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. Both males and females have testosterone produced in their bodies: males in the testes and females in the ovaries and other tissues. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids. "Anabolic" refers to muscle building, and "androgenic" refers to increased male sex characteristics such as those experienced by males during puberty. People often think of anabolic steroids when someone refers to steroids, but steroids may also refer to corticosteroids. These steroids imitate cortisone hormones produced by the body's adrenal glands in response to stress. There are also other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) that people sometimes mistakenly refer to as steroids.
Once viewed as a problem only associated with bodybuilder and professional athletes, steroids' abuse is much more common in today's society. The problem is widespread throughout society, including school-age children, athletes, business professionals, or people who are merely wanting to look more attractive. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that more than half a million 8th and 10th-grade studen