by Aharon W. Zorea
April 2014, 236pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0299-7
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0300-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Steroids are a powerfully useful but controversial medical tool.

A thorough, balanced examination of the controversies on the therapeutic and non-therapeutic use of steroids that covers both legal medical therapy and illegal performance enhancement.

The discussions regarding the ethical, medical, and social controversies surrounding steroid use are as heated as the drugs themselves are powerful. Steroids comprehensively addresses the separate debates over steroid use in therapeutic medical treatments, sports performance enhancement, and cosmetic lifestyle choices. The contents provide balanced coverage of the complex positive and negative implications involved with using these “ingredients of youth” to evade the common ailments of old age and to overcome some of the limitations of natural biology. This book will be invaluable to students of not only health and exercise sciences, sports and sport-related fields, and medical science, but also those researching social and ethical questions involved with the use of steroids in related fields. For example, the book may be used by sociology students investigating social aspects of sports, health policy, and public role models; psychology students focusing on the role of self-image and mental health; and political science students researching public health policy.


  • Examines the historical trends leading to steroid use as part of social attitudes and problems related to self-image, competitiveness, and aging
  • Provides a thorough discussion of policy responses to steroid policy issues such as law enforcement and illegal trafficking, safety guidelines for medical practitioners, and unique considerations for youth protection
  • Includes a host of related primary document resources that support the discussion on steroid use
  • Supplies a detailed chronology of the major relevant events in steroid history, starting from the first discovery of synthetic versions of testosterone and including all major scandals in professional sports
Aharon W. Zorea, PhD, is associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Richland. His published works include In the Image of God: A Christian Response to Capital Punishment; Greenwood's Birth Control; and more than 60 articles on politics and legal and social policy. Zorea holds a doctorate in policy history from Saint Louis University.


"Part of Greenwood/ABC-CLIO’s series, Health and Medical Issues Today series, Steroids provides a balanced examination of the controversy surrounding their use in sports, sexual health, and aging, through a scientific and ethical lens. . . . What makes this book stand out, however, is its clear explanation of the science behind steroids, including their biochemistry, side effects, differences, and therapeutic and performance-enhancing uses."—ARBA, August 1, 2014

"This modest handbook, part of the Health and Medical Issues Today series, offers an acceptable overview and introduction to steroid use, an effective explanation of the basic biochemistry of steroid hormones, and familiar historical background on therapeutic and performance-enhancing effects. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. . . . General readers and lower-division undergraduates."—Choice, November 6, 2014

Health and Medical Issues Today

From the latest developments in treatment to updates on public health threats, information about health and medicine impacts lives more directly than almost any other subject. Despite a wealth of coverage online and in print media, there is still an overwhelming need for a single source to which a reader can turn for accurate, current information on an issue of concern.

The series Health and Medical Issues Today provides just such one-stop resources for those seeking solid overviews of the most controversial and persisting issues in health and psychology. Each volume offers a balanced, in-depth introduction to the medical, scientific, legal, and cultural aspects of subjects ranging from obesity to sports medicine, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, and tobacco use.
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