Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when they have the chance, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may continue to abuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids' addictive potential. Research has further found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.
Catlin did not know of anyone who has enacted the kind of voluntary entry program he advocates. "I wish I did," he said. "People are talking about it. It takes time to realize with these non-voluntary programs, it takes a year or two to figure out they're not working, and then they start to look around." At the very least, with the failure of the Texas program, states now realize these programs aren't worth the price tag. Florida canceled its program after one year, and Illinois's lasted only two. Delaware opted for an educational program over testing, and Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Kevin Charles told me in an e-mail Tuesday, "The main reason was it didn't appear to be cost effective."