Anabolic steroids are derived from male hormones and help to build bone tissue, muscle tissue, and other tissues in the body. Catabolic steroids, or glucocorticoids, are produced as a response to stress, and they break down and metabolize substances in the body. Examples of artificially produced catabolic steroids include hydrocortisone and prednisone. These steroids are not abused as often as anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroids also have medicinal purposes and can assist individuals who have issues with tissue damage due to burn injuries, weight loss due to intestinal disorders or diseases like HIV. They can also help those who have lost muscle mass as a result of chemotherapy to build tissue and gain weight. These drugs can be taken in pill form or injected.Some of the commonly known anabolic steroids include:
- Dianabol (methandrostenolone)
- Winstrol (stanozolol)
- Durabolin (nandrolone phenylpropionate)
- Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate)
- Depo-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate)
The central nervous stimulant cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) is a well-known drug of abuse that is manufactured from the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine does have some medicinal uses in the United States but is more familiar as a drug of abuse. It is abused in a number of different ways, such as via injection, snorting it (e.g., powder cocaine), and smoking it (e.g., crack cocaine).
Both anabolic steroids and cocaine are drugs of abuse. Most anabolic steroids are classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as Schedule III controlled substances, whereas cocaine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. This classification indicates that steroids are considered to have more appropriate medicinal uses and less prone to abuse than cocaine; however, both drugs have a significant potential for abuse and for the development of physical or psychological dependence.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it is estimated that in 2015 approximately 1.9 million people over the age of 12 were users of cocaine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2015 approximately 3.5 percent of individuals in high school reported using anabolic steroids without having a prescription for them, which represents an estimate of about 500,000 individuals. The United States Justice Department estimates that a little over 1 million adults over the age of 18 use anabolic steroids without a prescription. Individuals who misuse or abuse anabolic steroids are likely to be male.
People abuse cocaine to experience the stimulant and psychoactive effects of the drug, whereas abuse of anabolic steroids is typically associated with individuals who engage in some form of an athletic endeavor, such as bodybuilding or other sports, who are trying to improve their performance and/or increase their muscle mass while reducing their body fat content.