Anabolic steroids are sometimes used by athletes or those who weight lift to build more muscle quickly. Other reason people may use steroids is it is they are thought to improve athletic performance. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that while under 6% of athletes are thought to abuse steroids anecdotal evidence suggests that in reality this figure is much higher.
Some people who abuse steroids may have body dysmorphia and not feel that they are big enough, therefore they may abuse steroids to add bulk quickly as they don’t like the way their body looks.
Anabolic steroids are highly addictive. The user will gain tolerance very quickly and crave for more and more to get the same effect. The user will believe that using steroids has imported their fitness or their image but this is a myth and part of the denial of addiction.
Some signs of anabolic steroid addiction include:
- mood swings and aggression
- bad breath
- hair loss
- withdraws from friends and family
- weight gain
- increased muscle size
The side effects of steroid abuse are very concerning and include (from both long and short term abuse):
- shrunken testicles
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- HIV and Hep C (through intravenous drug use)
- stunted growth
- liver failure
- risk of prostate cancer
Steroid use also alters the structure of the heart which can lead to heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. They can also cause blood clots and coronary artery diseases. As well as causing baldness, steroid use can also cause a more masculine appearance in female addicts. Steroid abuse can cause deepening of the voice, growth of facial hair and male pattern baldness.
Stopping anabolic steroid use is a lengthy process and needs to be medically managed. Coming off steroids suddenly can result in severe withdrawal symptoms such as:
- inability to concentrate
- muscular and joint pain
To discuss the best options for treatment for recovery from anabolic steroid use, do ring us at Addiction Helper. We are happy to advise and support you.