Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 377–387 | Cite as

Anabolic steroid abuse and dependence

  • Kirk J. Brower


Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are mainly used to treat androgen deficiency syndromes and, more recently, catabolic states such as AIDS-associated wasting. There is no evidence in the reviewed literature that AAS abuse or dependence develops from the therapeutic use of AAS. Conversely, 165 instances of AAS dependence have been reported among weightlifters and bodybuilders who, as part of their weight training regimens, chronically administered supraphysiologic doses, often including combinations of injected and oral AAS as well as other drugs of abuse. A new model is proposed in which both the "myoactive" and psychoactive effects of AAS contribute to the development of AAS dependence. The adverse consequences of AAS are reviewed, as well as their assessment by means of a history and physical, mental status examination, and laboratory testing. When patients with AAS use disorders are compared with patients with other substance use disorders, both similarities and differences become apparent and have implications for treatment.


Testosterone Conditioned Place Preference Anabolic Steroid Weight Training Androgenic Steroid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirk J. Brower
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Research CenterThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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