Steroid Statistics

Steroid Statistics 2024 (Side Effects & Abuse of Anabolics)

Published on: August 1, 2023
Last Updated: August 1, 2023

Steroid Statistics 2024 (Side Effects & Abuse of Anabolics)

Published on: August 1, 2023
Last Updated: August 1, 2023

The biggest challenge for writing about steroids is that there’s not a lot of information about this drug class online.

Some substances that are considered steroids are illegal in some areas of the world, while in others, you can buy them over the counter.

We will be addressing steroid statistics on the use and misuse of, and uses for steroids that not everyone knows.

You will also read information about the effects, side effects, and other repercussions from using or abusing steroids.

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Key Steroid Statistics 2024

  • Testosterone was first synthesized in 1935 in Germany.
  • Males are the dominant users of AAS. 
  • Abuse of anabolic steroids is prohibited in nearly all sports across the globe.
  • 100% of anabolic steroid users reported various forms of side effects. 
  • Between 20% and 50% of AAS users suffer some form of dependence on it.
  • NFL players have been suspended at least 258 times for using performance enhancing drugs since 2001.
  • One out of every five high school athletes think that PEDs are important.
  • Those who struggle with addiction require the same organized treatment as those with  other drug addictions.

Detailed Steroid Statistics 2024

Before we dig into steroid statistics for 2024, we believe it will be helpful to discuss some basic info about them.

This way you can determine if steroids are something you want, need, or need to steer clear of before making a final decision.

1. Steroids Are Hormones and Chemicals that Already Exist in The Human Body.

Alarming Steroid Statistics and Facts

According to WebMD, steroids are two different things. They are hormones, or chemicals naturally produced by your body, or they are synthetic medications called steroids. 

The naturally-occurring steroids are there to aid the cells, tissues, and organs of the body do their jobs. The truth is that you need the right balance of steroids for growth and for making babies. 

The medication type of steroids come in two forms called, anabolic androgenic (anabolic) steroids, and corticosteroids.


Corticosteroids are made in a lab and are created to mimic the cortisol hormone that is produced by your adrenal glands.

This medication is intended to stop or slow down the immune system’s inflammation triggers.

Corticosteroids are often used to treat the symptoms of rashes, and Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), various autoimmune disorders, and multiple sclerosis (MS). 

This medication comes in pills, liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, skin creams, IV tubes, or shots.

A few side effects can include mood swings, face swelling, sleeping problems, nausea,  weight gain, odd hair growth, thin skin, acne, blood pressure and blood sugar spikes, etc. You may also be at risk for getting more infections. 

Some long-term effects of high doses can cause brittle bones, adrenal insufficiency, muscle weakness, and other problems. 

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are a synthetic alternative to testosterone made in the lab. Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for building muscles.

If a person can’t produce enough testosterone on their own, a doctor can prescribe this medication. 

One example where anabolics are prescribed is for boys who are experiencing delayed puberty, men with low testosterone levels, and people who have lost muscle mass due to AIDS, cancer, and other health problems. 

Anabolics can come in inhalers, patches, shots, or topical creams. 

Anabolics are also the most misused form of steroids, resulting in widespread abuse for its muscle-building and performance-boosting attributes.

These users often take very high doses, up to 100 times the legally allowed prescription limit.

The side effects can include very bad acne, fluid retention, infertility, breast growth, low sperm count, testicle shrinkage, and other issues for males.

High doses can even cause aggression, anger, and mood swings. 

In women who use it for baldness, it may cause facial hair growth and it could cause them to stop having their period, or even lower their voice.

In teenagers, anabolics can result in stunted growth.

In the long term, anabolics can cause liver damage, kidney damage, fluid retention, higher LDL cholesterol, swelling of the heart, heart attacks, strokes, or heart failure.

2. Testosterone Was First Synthesized in 1935 in Germany.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the first time synthetic testosterone was developed was in 1935 in Germany. 

Additionally, the first reported incident of the misuse of anabolic steroids happened during the 1954 Olympics. The Russian weightlifters were given synthetic testosterone. 

By the 1980s the use of anabolics had spread to the general population, so men started using and abusing steroids.

They mostly used them to enhance their personal appearance, but some used them to improve their athletic performance. 

In 1990, the United States Congress passed the Anabolic Steroid Act of 1990 in response to the growing problem of the illegal trafficking of steroids.

This Act made anabolic steroids a different class of drugs with a four-part definition to make sure as new anabolics were created, they would be included. 

Next, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 came along to create stricter penalties for the making, selling, or possessing of all illegal steroid precursors.

In other words, anabolic steroids were strictly illegal in America between the 1990s and today.

On the flipside of this issue, some European countries and Mexico have steroids for sale over the counter, without a prescription. These countries were the main sources of smuggling anabolics into the United States. 

Today, steroids are still unregulated and legal in Mexico, Thailand, Russia, and India.

3. Major Side Effects Are Associated with Serious Health Conditions.

All anabolic steroids come with known serious side effects that everyone should know before getting a prescription, much less trying them out on the other side of the law. 

Here’s the biggest issue facing anabolic steroid use.

Almost every single ingredient in these steroids is illegal to get without a prescription, but with underground sources where casual bodybuilders get it. 

The idea that coaches advocate the use of anabolics is a myth.

While there are some that advocate and may even get them for athletes, most are against the use of synthetic testosterone.

All steroids come with various side effects including, puffiness, stomach pain, rapid weight gain, acne, depression, gynecomastia, acne, hot flashes, hair loss, water retention, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, fatigue, joint pain, low good cholesterol (HDL), and high cholesterol.

4. Steroids Statistics Reveal that Abuse of This Substance Is Prohibited in All Sports Across the Globe.

S1 anabolic agents are now prohibited on the list of worldwide prohibited substances for all sports.

The list specifically mentions Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS) and all generics and brand names. 

Even though Clenbuterol is on the list as a stimulant, it’s also mentioned on the S1 Anabolic Agents list.

The list is exhaustive, but a recommended read on the WADA site.

What this means is that all sports athletes all over the world cannot take any form of steroids for enhancement.

How they handle necessary prescriptions is a mystery, but could be an exception, though these prohibited lists are commonly very strict.

5. Unfortunately, Most Steroids Are Administered by The User.

According to anabolic steroid statistics, most users of these substances are getting and administering their own steroids via various methods.

This includes pills, inhalers, injections, etc. 

They are at high-risk for sharing and reusing needles to inject this substance. 

This fact also makes it impossible to know the precise number of steroid users and people struggling with addiction across the world.

It’s not very likely that they are going to report taking or injecting anabolic steroids, is it?

6. There Is a Rising Issue Among Female Teenagers and Women Involving the Misuse of Steroids.

Facts about performance-enhancing steroids abuse among women are becoming a growing concern.

Not all steroids are based on synthetic testosterone. 

Stanozolol and Oxandrolone, also called the “girl steroid” are made for the female body. This is what these young women, especially teen females, are misusing.

According to a 2017 report, one out of every 42 girls in America have taken anabolic steroids at some point. 

The motivation for taking this substance was driven by wanting to be prettier. Since 47% of all official American weightlifters are women, this comes as no surprise.

7. Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids (AAS) Make Users Less Desirable as Life Partners.

A study of heterosexual women claimed that they considered men who used AAS less attractive and unsuitable for long-term relationships over men who didn’t use AAS.

The ratings were based on physical attraction, romantic attraction, and sexual attraction, respectively.

Therefore, women seeking meaningful and long-term romantic relationships are 50% less attractive based on those metrics.

It also means that men who don’t use anabolics are 50% more attractive and suitable for romantic and long-term relationships. 

The statistics didn’t show any difference between AAS users and non users based on casual or short-term relationships. 

8. Males Are the Dominant Users of AAS. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals that most people who misuse steroids are non-competing male weightlifters in their 20s and 30s.

Only around 22% of anabolic steroid users are teens.

The side effects for women related to excessive musculizing impact play a role in why more men use steroids than women.

Most women report wanting to look fit and toned, but not extremely muscular. 

The report also stated that the reasons men who are likely to use anabolic steroids are associated with low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, depression, lack of knowledge about health, eating disorders, and other issues. 

9. AAS Users Get Results Within 10 Weeks.

Data from a paper by Shalender Bhasin revealed that a dose of 600 mg per week for 10 weeks produced muscle enhancement in strength and size.

This increase in strength and muscle size also improved athletic performance. 

The study also had these men working out routinely during the same time for a viable outcome in results.

At the same time, this study also revealed the short-term side effects of AAS on men who also exercised regularly. They experienced a little over 13 pounds of muscle gain in the 10-week period.

Steroid Abuse and Misuse Statistics

In this section, we will address statistics based on abuse and misuse of these substances.

The truth is that steroid abuse and misuse is so widespread and left untreated that it’s hard to know with accuracy how many people are addicted. 

Steroid addiction is no different from any other type of drug or alcohol addiction.

Although addiction to steroids will ruin your life and health, leaving behind lifelong repercussions, it’s still being used by a multitude of athletes.

10. 100% of Anabolic Steroid Users Reported Various Forms of Side Effects. 

This data was taken from a self-administered questionnaire posted on popular AAS message boards online. 

500 AAS users participated in the survey. Of the 500, 78.4% (392/500) were not athletes or competitive bodybuilders.

Another 59.6% (298/500) of respondents said they used at least 1,000 mg of testosterone each week. 

An alarming 99.2% (496/500) said they self-administered their injectable AAS, while 13% (66/500) said they engaged in unsafe use of needles such as sharing and reusing needles. 

11. Between 20% and 50% of AAS Users Suffer Some Form of Dependence on It.

According to 2019 statistics, between 20% and 50% of anabolic-androgenic steroid users who are getting treatment report getting addicted, or developing a dependence syndrome to the substance. 

It’s important to note that professional athletes don’t make up the vast majority of anabolic steroid users.

Many users are non-professional athletes and noncompetitive weightlifters. 

Somewhere between 3 and 4 million people in the U.S. have reported using steroids at some time in their lives.

12. NFL Players Have Been Suspended at Least 258 Times for Using Performance Enhancing Drugs Since 2001.

Since 2001, NFL players have been suspended and fined for taking steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) a shocking 258 times.

How can the sports industry claim that it’s no big deal with this much going on under its watch? 

Since not everyone gets caught, there’s no way to know how many NFL players have taken or currently use PEDs. The NFL is likely just the tip of the iceberg in the sports industry. 

The story on USA Today asked if fans even cared. Could it be that this makes the NFL even more appealing to the masses?

13. Statistics from 2017 Revealed that One out Of Every Five High School Athletes Think That PEDs Are Important.

High schoolers are often prescribed steroids for asthma and allergies, but what about high school athletes?

With numbers as high as one in five male athletes between 18 and 25 years old thinking that PEDs are the only way to go pro, there is reason for concern.

In high schools, one in four athletes believe that PEDs are critical to improving athletic performance.

Sadly, 77.4% claim that the use of PEDs among the pros puts too much pressure on younger athletes to use them.

Here’s a little tidbit you probably don’t know. Steroid testing is about 6 times more expensive than conventional drug testing.

Is it any wonder why more players aren’t caught? They may use these tests sparingly.

14. Those Struggling with Addiction Require the Same Organized Treatment as Those with  Other Drug Addictions.

Anabolic Steroid

Treatment for steroid addictions may require behavioral therapy, comfort medications, and supervised detox programs just like with other drug addictions.

Just because steroids don’t give users the same “high” as other drugs do, there is still a high risk of dependency to these drugs due to the withdrawal symptoms. 

Inpatient rehab and detox is an option for people who are highly addicted to steroids.

This is an especially good solution for anyone suffering from anxiety, anger issues, or have a history of depression.

This method takes the user out of their environment for safe and effective detox and rehabilitation.

There are specialists in drug rehabs who handle steroid addictions because the programs used are different, but still structured for the person struggling with addiction.

The whole approach takes a taper down method for quitting steroids. 

15. During the 2019-2020 NBA season, three Players Tested Positive for Banned PEDs.

Before the 2019-2020 NBA season, only 13 athletes had ever tested positive for any kind of banned substances, which includes the three from the 2019-20 season.

The whole NBA league accounts for 450 players, so 3 players is a very small number. 

The NBA uses a more comprehensive drug testing program than the MLB or NFL.

Even with that, NBA officials say there is still a drug issue in the ranks. The only difference between now and 30 years ago is the type of drugs used.

Since this incident, the NBA has issued a warning to its players regarding steroid drug testing.

They told their whole player base that every player would be tested.

16. An Estimated 50% to 85% of MLB Players Use Steroids, According to Recent Data.

It seems that experts cannot agree on the percentage of MLB players who use steroids, or PEDs.

The biggest problem comes from confusion regarding what is and isn’t considered a steroid. After all, steroids is a pretty broad term. 

Also, there are corticosteroids to consider, which are more likely to be used for health reasons.

Playing baseball may raise the risk of arthritis where prescription steroids may be needed.

In this instance, we want to discuss banned steroids and PEDs.

Many MLB players have come forward with how many players are using, but they are very different figures.

Jose Canseco estimates that about 85% of players in MLB are using steroids. However, Ken Caminti estimates it to be more like 50%. 

What we do know for sure is that in all the time since the history of steroid use among athletes, 26 of the Yankees players were implicated for using PEDs more than any other MLB team. 

There is now speculation about what needs to be done and how to implement more rigid drug testing programs in MLB.

17. Only 29% of Soccer Players Tested Positive For PEDs in 2016.

In the world of soccer, FIFA makes their rules clear about drug testing and players having to subject themselves to both urine and blood drug tests.

Because of these strict rules, players seem to refrain from using steroids, or PEDs.

According to Goal online, there are doping control officers in attendance at soccer games, which is in the FIFA rules. If a player is caught using any form of PED, they can be banned from soccer for between several months up to the rest of their lives, depending on how serious the offense is.

In 2016, FIFA reported that 33,227 doping tests were performed across the world. 

You should know there are 65,000 professional male and female players all over the globe. Within the 33,227 sampling, only 97 players tested positive, which accounts for 29% of the tested players. 

18. In August 2021, Studies Have Suggested that Around 10% of Famous Athletes May Use Steroids. 

Additionally, between 43% and 70% of elite athletes use PEDs.

The conclusion drawn from a study showed that doping seems to be widespread among the world’s elite athletes; yet they are seldom tested as they should be, despite the rising use of PEDs in pro athletes.

The need to compete and keep up may be driving them to use it.

As we mentioned in an earlier statistic, these pro athletes are heroes that high school athletes look up to, which is causing an issue with the use of steroids even in high schools. 

19. Anabolic Steroid Use Has Been Linked with High Rates of Premature Death in Males. 

A study that included 545 men using AAS, found the mortality rate was three times higher than among the nonusers of the study.

Not only that, but the side effects were evident in 10% of the users. 

Side effects like gynecomastia (growing breasts), acne, and erectile dysfunction were discovered in steroid users. 

The overall conclusion states that AAS users are at risk for premature death and higher hospitalization admissions than non steroid users.

The side effects were very obvious, which makes this a public health problem.


What Ingredients Are Used to Make Steroids?

While anabolic steroids’ most-used ingredient is synthesized testosterone, there are other substances used in steroids.

The ingredients in steroids differ depending on the brand or type of steroid. Remember, steroids are a very broad term. 

So, we will just provide some ingredients for Anavar, an anabolic steroid.

Anavar includes the active ingredients oxandrolone, 17B-hydroxy-17a-methyl-2-oxa-5a-androstan-3-one, and inactive ingredients magnesium stearate, cornstarch, hydroxypropyl, methyl-cellulose, and lactose. 

Can Steroids Become Addictive?


Steroids can become addictive. There is no way to determine how many people have become addicted to steroids since they self-administer it and most don’t report using it. 

Withdrawal symptoms that occur from quitting steroids can include depression, mood swings, sleeplessness, and cravings.

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Steroids?

There are many basic side effects of steroid use.

This includes weight gain, upset stomach, mood swings, behavioral changes, confusion, memory problems, delirium, high blood pressure, and fluid retention.

How Many Steroid Users Are There?

There is no way to provide an exact number of people who use steroids since these drugs are regulated in some countries, but unregulated in others.

Not everyone gets caught or reports steroid use.

However, statistics have estimated that between 1% and 5% of the populations in western nations use steroids. 


Now that you have some useful and somewhat shocking steroid statistics in 2024 to consider, what is your takeaway from this article?

Using steroids for reducing swelling, inflammation, and for treating the symptoms of asthma, allergies, respiratory issues, and osteoporosis involves corticosteroids, which are usually taken temporarily and under a doctor’s supervision. 

However, the use of AAS and PEDs is a different ordeal.

While they are useful when prescribed for specific purposes, they are often used by average athletes and people who want to be more attractive.

That is where it can be a problem.

Would you consider using steroids for either a health condition, or as a performance-enhancing drug? 


ACOGAddiction CenterAddiction Center
DEA Diversion Control Division U.S. DoJDrugs.comGoal
Journal of Substance AbuseMLBNational Federation of High School Associations
NBC NewsNCBINew England Journal of Medicine
NIDA NIHNIDA NIHNational Library of Medicine
National Library of MedicineThe Recovery VillageScience Daily
Springer LinkThe Game HausUSA Today

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.