Roid rage is a term given to people who act in very aggressive or hostile manner after taking large doses, usually on a regular basis, of anabolic steroids, sometimes nicknamed as roids. In recent times, several prominent murders and brutal attacks have been linked to roid rage, which might suggest a person is less responsible for committing a crime. This is not always an adequate defense given that people who take anabolic steroids tend to do so willingly. Further, roid rage resulting in violent behavior may be a little more complex than it is generally portrayed in the media.
When people use anabolic steroids, a dangerous practice for many reasons, they are essentially placing extra levels of testosterone in their bodies. This hormone can at first have positive effects on the psyche, which later turn negative. Steroid users at first may equate steroid use with feeling well, unconquerable or very happy. Continued use of steroids may result in much greater mood and behavior change. People may become more aggressive, more hostile, or they may manifest symptoms of various forms of mental illness, like schizophrenia, mania, and deep depression. Anabolic steroid use is linked not only to roid rage and sudden mood changes, but also to a higher incidence of suicide than in the general populace.
There have been several clinical studies assessing roid rage, and it does turn out that people who are most likely to experience it are also most likely, prior to steroid use, to be extremely angry, hostile or violent. This suggests that roid rage may most occur in those who are already at risk for violent behavior. These studies further suggest that roid rage is not a suitable legal defense for committing violent acts, since the person who claims it as a defense may have already had tendencies toward violence. These tendencies or violent acts can further be a side effect of ending steroid use, since the mood elevation properties of steroids when suddenly cut off could result in acting in a violent manner. Long-term users of steroids should be carefully watched and helped medically to recover from what might be termed steroid addiction.
Despite clinical studies, any steroid user is risking the potentially dangerous effects of extreme behavior changes when taking steroids. Some people may be so vulnerable that behavior changes occur rapidly, causing the person to behave in a manner illegal or so disruptive that it can quickly ruin a life. What is clear is that anabolic steroid use is a dangerous practice with many potential long-term side effects that can be life changing. Like many other drugs, anabolic steroids are dangerous indeed, and the potential for roid rage adds the additional risk of a person hurting himself or others by extremely violent behavior while on steroids.