Steroid drugs; in many ways, the two words do not fit together at all; not if we consider how non-steroidal drugs affect the human body. The problem with this two word term largely surrounds the use of the word "Drug" as there is no one-size-fits-all definition. When we look at the numerous definitions of the word "Drug", largely such can be defined as any substance used to treat a physical or mental condition and alters the body's normal function. When we understand anabolic androgenic steroids, sure, they can certainly be used to treat varying ailments, but they in no way alter the body's normal function. Further, drugs often carry the definition of substances that affect the central nervous system causing a physical or mental addiction; again, anabolic steroids do not carry such traits. Through our discussion, we will determine if anabolic steroids should be labeled as "steroid drugs" and if not, what should the label or classification be?
Anabolic androgenic steroids are synthetic hormones based upon the primary male sex hormones such as Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone among others; Testosterone being primary. While synthetic, these hormones are identical to the hormones we already produce; once inside the body the human body cannot distinguish between a steroidal hormone it produces and one provided exogenously in any significant manner. The largest difference between steroidal hormones produced naturally or that are synthetically derived truly lies within their point of origin; of course, at this point you probably already have numerous questions.
By their existence, anabolic androgenic steroids can largely be understood by examining the name itself; each of the three words. Anabolic refers to anabolism or muscle building, whereas androgenic refers to the male sexual characteristics; this leaves steroid which simply refers to a fat-soluble 17 carbon substance arranged in a four cyclic ring manner. This is it; there's nothing magical going on here; there's nothing mind-blowing or akin to what exist when we think of traditional therapeutic or recreational drugs; even so, this still doesn't fully answer the question, are steroid drugs really drugs?
If steroid drugs are truly drugs, then this label fits based on their use in medical treatment, which is to improve a declining condition; there are several. For many years, the most common reason anabolic steroid drugs were prescribed were to treat muscle wasting diseases such as aids or cancer; they were also prescribed to severe burn victims. While they are still used for these purposes, increasingly the most common reason steroid drugs are prescribed are to treat hormone deficiencies; the individual is now lacking the production of a specific steroidal hormone and must supplement with a synthetic form in-order to compensate. These are by far the most common uses of steroid drugs in medical practice; however, they are not the most common reasons anabolic steroids are used, and that should almost go without saying.
While steroid drugs are sometimes used to treat a physical condition, by this factor perhaps the term "Drug" is appropriate, but what about the other factors that define a drug, they're found lacking; further, there's another point of consideration. When an individual is suffering from a specific ailment, in some cases, supplementing with various vitamins and minerals is recommended; the individual follows through with such supplementation and his condition improves. This raises a question; would you call vitamins and minerals drugs? Of course you wouldn't; in-fact, you'd feel a little stupid doing so, and when it comes to anabolic androgenic steroids, while they're not vitamins and minerals you should feel just as stupid calling them steroid drugs.
If steroid drugs aren't actually drugs, this leaves us with the most important question of all; what are they? By now you should already have a pretty good guess, but we'll clarify just the same. Anabolic androgenic steroids are hormones; they may indeed be synthetic hormones, but they are hormones just the same. Sure, they're sold in the drug store, but so are greeting cards and diapers. The reason the term "steroid drugs" largely exist is as a means to perpetuate traditional thought and the fear many have of such hormones. By labeling them similarly to true drugs, this fear is able to survive, the misinformation is enabled to thrive, and the overall stupidity continues to reign supreme.