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Steroid abusers often take two or more different forms of the drug and mix oral steroids with injectable steroids, a process known as stacking. Abusers also frequently administer their doses in cycles of 6 to 12 weeks, a process called pyramiding. Steroid abusers believe that stacking and pyramiding enhance the benefits of the drug while lessening the toll that drug use takes on their bodies; however, there is no scientific evidence to support these theories.
Steroid abuse among high school students is a particular problem. Four percent of high school seniors in the United States abused steroids at least once in their lifetime, and 1.4 percent abused steroids in the past month, according to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey.
Emotional problems associated with steroid use include dramatic mood swings (including manic symptoms that can lead to violence called roid rage), depression, paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment.
In addition to the risks directly associated with steroid abuse, individuals who inject the drugs expose themselves to the risk of needle-borne diseases, including HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne viruses.
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