Even though most types of steroid use are illegal in the United States, it seems that steroid use is still quite prevalent. There are a few occasions when steroid use is not illegal. Some steroid us, whether oral, topical or intravenous, is actually a prescribed for treatment of certain medical conditions. Otherwise, steroid use in the United States generally occurs by athletes and bodybuilders who want to improver their performance and enhancer their appearance.
Medical steroid use is often prescribed for chronic wasting when other treatments don't seem to work. Steroid use can also be prescribed for hormone replacement, to help with slow growth and to help induce puberty in boys.
Steroid use for athletics is more prominently found in males, although females have been known to use them as well and the prevalence of female steroid use is rising. Additionally, when people choose to go the route of steroid use for athletic performance and to better their appearance, they often use multiple steroids together to get the best possible benefits with the least possible negative side effects.
Steroid use doesn't come without side effects, however. Side effects of steroid use include potentially harmful effects such as cardiovascular problems, increased blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and liver and kidney damage. Additionally, steroid use tends to cause changes in gender characteristics because steroid use alters the levels of hormones in the body. Males may begin to notice an increase in breast tissue with steroid use and females might notice an increase in body hair or a deepening of the voice with steroid use. Other effects of steroid use common in either gender are acne and premature baldness.
Because of all of the possible side effects and the fact that steroid use is generally illegal in the United States, most major sports organizations do not allow their athletes to participate in steroid use. They monitor steroid use through drug testing procedures.