The `I Don`t Want to Talk About It` hitmaker has admitted he became reliant on the drug to help soothe his vocal cords ahead of gigs, but the habit had a number of nasty side-effects, including reducing the size of his manhood.
In an interview with Mojo magazine, he said: "I let myself down on tours in the late 80s when I was addicted to steroids. In those days we didn`t have in-ear monitors and the band kept getting louder and drunker, and I kept blowing my voice out. The steroids will take down the swelling in any membrane - including your knob - and it`s what you do when you`re in a bit of a pinch and need to do a show and you can`t sing."
Despite the benefit to his voice, the 68-year-old rocker says the drugs made him "bloated" and had more serious repercussions when he suffered from internal bleeding.
He explained: "Steroids make you fat and bloated, you can`t sleep and you get really irritable. It`s one of the most horrible drugs in the world. One night, on stage in Sheffield, I thought I was in the kitchen with my mum because the steroids had eaten a hole in my stomach. I was bleeding internally and hallucinating. What the audience must have thought!"
Rod - who has overcome thyroid cancer - still uses steroids around "once a year" to help him through a particularly challenging performance, however, he feels the after-effects for days.
He added: "I will still use them around once a year if I`m really struggling. It gets you through the show, but you pay for it. You can`t sing for a week."