Steroids, also known as anabolic steroids, are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring testosterone, a male sex hormone responsible for facial hair, muscle and bone growth, and the development of reproductive tissues. Some of their common street names include “weight gainers,” “juice,” “roids,” and “arnolds.”
Initially developed to help with testosterone issues, to treat delayed puberty and impotence, steroids are nowadays abused to improve physical performance, enhance athletic performance and promote muscle growth.
Steroids are illegal to use without a prescription but steroids abuse has become so common that people consume it in various ways – orally, injecting it into the muscle, or using it in the form of a gel or a cream. The dose for non-medical use of steroids is usually 10 to 100 times higher than the medically prescribed doses.
Steroids abuse among athletes
In case of bodybuilders, steroids help speed up muscle growth. Steroids target the androgen receptor in muscle tissue and get inside to the cells, prompting them to start producing more of the protein that builds muscles.
Not all steroids are used for building muscles though. Athletes often take to steroids abuse to enhance their performance in sports and reduce muscle breakdown. During intensive training, the body releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which breaks down muscle tissues and makes people sore after workouts. Steroids work by stopping cortisol from binding to the receptors in our muscles, slowing down the natural breakdown process. This means athletes can recover far more quickly and improve their overall performance with steroid use. Irrespective of the reasons for which an individual abuses steroids, the effects are serious and sometimes, even fatal.
Symptoms of steroid abuse
Steroid abuse is associated with a wide range of adverse effects in both men and women. Classified as a Schedule III substance, the effects caused by anabolic steroids abuse depend on a variety of factors, such as the user’s age, gender as well as the amount and frequency of the abuse.
Steroids can have severe physical and psychological effects, with some physical gender-specific changes that could be irreversible. Some of these include:
Physical changes in men: Anabolic steroid use can cause enlargement of the breast tissue, shrinkage of testicles, baldness and infertility.
Physical changes in women: Anabolic steroid use can cause male-pattern baldness, increased facial and body hair growth, reduction in breast size, deepening of the voice and menstrual irregularities.
Both men and women can experience common adverse health effects from steroid addiction, including high cholesterol levels and heart, liver or kidney damage that can at times lead to heart attacks or liver cancer. One can also develop acne, cysts or experience fluid retention. Users who inject steroids also run the risk of contracting hepatitis or HIV because of non-sterile needles.
The psychological effects of steroids can appear with one single use itself. One may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Loss of judgment
Steroids may not be used to get high but that does not mean that they are not addictive. Once someone starts depending on steroids to get through the day-to-day activities or develops compulsive seeking behaviors, often at the expense of everything else, it is clear that steroids addiction has set in.
Due to the health risks associated with steroid abuse and addiction, it is important to seek professional treatment at a certified rehab center as soon as possible. Timely and adequate treatment helps a person regain control of his/her life and prevent any irreversible side effects.
Treatment for steroid abuse
Unfortunately, a person cannot just simply stop using steroids. For those who seek steroid abuse treatment, one of the first steps is to go through a supervised steroid detox treatment at certified steroid detox centers. The withdrawal symptoms can be painful, even deadly, and a person needs time for their adrenal glands to start functioning normally. Most people will need to be weaned off steroids and can experience withdrawal symptoms until the substance is completely out of the body. Owing to the discomforting withdrawal symptoms, detox should be conducted under medical supervision so that there is a minimum risk of a relapse and life-threatening complications are addressed in time that might arise during the treatment.
Following are some of the signs and symptoms of steroids withdrawal:
Along with a detox program, a person who has abused steroids needs to go through a therapy to understand the nuances of addiction and the factors that might have led to the abuse or the dependence. Additionally, an assessment of any co-occurring illnesses needs to be done so that there is no hindrance to the treatment.
Why choose us
As a nationwide treatment provider, we provides top-notch treatment for substance use disorders, including steroid abuse and addiction. Offering inpatient residential, outpatient and continuing care programs at our state-of-the-art facilities, our team of trained clinicians and psychiatrists is committed to providing a lasting and comprehensive treatment.
To treat substance use disorders in Texas incorporates traditional as well as modern treatment methodologies, including medically assisted detoxification treatment along with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), neurofeedback, individual, group, and family therapy, and experiential therapies like art therapy and expressive arts therapy.
Post successful completion of the initial treatment, we also offer continuing care programs, such as the 12-step meetings, educational events, and other similar activities. Through these programs, our patients continue to get the support they need to stay drug-free when they step into their routine lives.
If you or someone you know is struggling with steroid addiction and is on the lookout for professional addiction treatment in Texas, we can help. Our facility offers excellent care and cutting-edge treatment methods that can help a person struggling with addiction to get the best shot at recovery. To know more about our top-notch treatment programs for steroid addiction, call our 24/7 helpline and speak with our admissions counselors. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.