“Roid rage” is the term given to the destructive rage that sometimes occurs in people who abuse anabolic steroids, also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). AAS are substances that are synthetically manufactured and mimic testosterone, the male sex hormone. They work in the brain by binding to the receptors of estrogen and androgen cells. AAS are easily obtained and popular with athletes and bodybuilders because they can stimulate the growth of skeletal muscles.
Studies have shown that these drugs may cause people to become aggressive, highly irritable, hostile and, at times, violent. Users may exhibit severe mood swings and become manic, with no ability to control their impulses. Additionally, they may become extremely paranoid and delusional. The severe behavioral and emotional aberrations resulting from high levels of AAS have been tied to several violent incidents over the years, including murders and suicides. Individuals who develop roid rage often require immediate inpatient treatment in order to keep them from harming themselves or others if they are psychotic and/or violent. In most cases the symptoms will subside within a couple of weeks, although it can take much longer.