Anabolic-androgenic steroids are laboratory-manufactured versions of male sex hormone testosterone. They are commonly prescribed by medical practitioners for hormonal issues like delayed puberty and for diseases that cause muscle loss, such as HIV and cancer. Steroids are often used by athletes because of their ability to help muscles grow.
However, people who abuse steroids often do so without medical supervision. They usually take large amounts of steroids that exceed the legitimate dose, which, in turn, can cause various harmful side effects.
Steroids are commonly abused by injecting them directly into the muscles. Certain steroids are available in the form of pill and can be abused orally. Some of them are also available in the form of gel and cream that can be applied on the skin directly. Some of the common oral steroids include Anadrol and Winstrol. Deca-Durabolin, Equipoise and Tetrahydrogestrinone are injectable steroids.
Steroids are not always abused to become stronger, better and faster than others. Many people take steroids to gain relief from other issues like muscle dysmorphia and physical and sexual abuse, etc.
Symptoms of steroids abuse
Steroid abuse can lead to the development of several symptoms. Some of them are:
- Irritability, often leading to extreme anger
- Loss of judgment
When abused for a long time, steroid abuse is linked to adverse side effects. Some of them are:
- Damage heart, liver and kidneys
- Changes in secondary sexual characteristics depending on gender – men may grow breasts, women may grow facial hair
- Risk of hepatitis or HIV from injecting steroids
- Stunted growth and height in teens
- Shrinking sex organs in males
- Mood disorders
Effects of steroids abuse
The body builds up muscles naturally by repairing small tears in muscle fibers that happen during physical activity. The new muscle fibers are stronger and hence, over a period of time, they help in attaining muscle growth. Steroids stimulate muscle cells to speed up the rebuilding process, resulting in larger muscles in a shorter period of time.
Steroids can prove to be a faster way of attaining muscle growth. However, they can lead to hazardous consequences. Steroid abuse does not produce the “high” similar to that produced by other drugs, but they do affect the same pathways in the brain. Even short-term steroid use can make a person’s emotions unpredictable, resulting in the infamous “roid rage” that some steroid users experience.
The effects of steroid abuse range from undesirable to life-threatening. Long-term steroid abuse can greatly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, even in younger users. Steroids can also damage liver and kidneys, potentially resulting in organ failure.
Studies on animals have shown steroid addiction is a genuine problem that can cause withdrawal symptoms, particularly severe depression. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with steroid use are:
- Cravings for steroids
- Sleep problems
- Mood swings
- Increased risk of drug abuse like opioids to self-medicate for sleep and emotional problems brought on by anabolic steroid abuse
Getting help for steroids abuse
Steroid misuse and abuse can make way for a host of medical problems, including addiction. Mission Recovery knows that addiction is a severe health issue, regardless of the substance used. Therefore, it works toward helping those addicted to steroids to attain recovery.
At Mission Recovery, we offer steroid abuse treatment in a wide variety of comfortable, judgment-free surroundings. Unlike many other treatment providers, Mission Recovery knows that identifying addiction is only half the battle won. Therefore, we make sure that our treatment programs not only target addiction but also the underlying mental disorders that often lead to steroid addiction.
The experts at Mission Recovery ensure that our patients heal both mentally and physically. We offer a customized steroid detox treatment at our specialized steroids detox centers. In addition to this, we also make use of evidence-backed methods like psychotherapy and counseling along with a number of effective alternative therapies to ensure that our patients have the best chance to attain a lasting recovery.