Psychiatric effects and psychoactive substance use in anabolic-androgenic steroid users

D. A. Malone, R. J. Dimeff, J. A. Lombardo, R. H B Sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess the psychiatric effects of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use and assess the frequency of other psychoactive substance use in a population of AAS users compared with non-AAS-using weight-lifter controls. One hundred sixty-four subjects were administered a demographic survey, including psychiatric history, substance use history, AAS use history, and medical history. Psychiatric diagnoses were made and psychological testing was performed. User categories were determined by history and urine testing. The user categories did not differ significantly on psychological testing. Past AAS users had a higher incidence of psychiatric diagnosis than the nonuser and current user groups. Hypomania was correlated with AAS use, and major depression with AAS discontinuation. Present psychoactive substance abuse or dependence was relatively low across all user categories. AAS dependence was seen in 12.9% of current users and 15.2% of past users of AAS. In conclusion, AAS use may lead to psychiatric disorders in certain individuals. Concurrent use of psychoactive drugs other than AAS does not appear to be common in intensively training weight lifters and bodybuilders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Anabolic
  • Athlete
  • Psychoactive
  • Steroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychiatric effects and psychoactive substance use in anabolic-androgenic steroid users'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this