What is anabolic steroid addiction?
Anabolic steroids act in a similar way to the male hormone testosterone, promoting the growth of muscle and the development of the male sexual characteristics. They are often prescribed to treat muscle weakness after surgery and anaemia. Common anabolic steroids include Deca-Durabolin, Anavar, Stanozolol and Dianabol, and are only legal when prescribed by a GP. However, steroid supplements are available over-the-counter.
Anabolic steroids are often used by sports people such as bodybuilders and athletes to enhance their performance and to build muscle mass. Abusers of steroids often take many times the recommended dose and users can easily become psychologically dependent on the drug. There is evidence to show that anabolic steroid abuse is on the increase among teenagers, including females.
Signs, symptoms and risks of anabolic steroid addiction
Anabolic steroid abuse can disrupt normal hormone production. In males, this can result in the shrinking of testicles, erection problems, sterility, the growing of breasts and acne. In females, overuse of anabolic steroids can result in increased body hair, shrinking breasts, menstrual problems and acne. In youngsters, anabolic steroid use can halt growth and develop. Users can become aggressive and violent, and experience dramatic mood swings. Some steroid users experience paranoia, confusion and insomnia. Even more seriously, steroids can result in high blood pressure, liver failure, stroke or heart attack.
Treatment for anabolic steroid addiction
Sudden withdrawal from anabolic steroids can result in mood swings, depression, violent behaviour and even suicidal behaviour. As quitting steroids can cause a dramatic reduction in muscle and strength, this can contribute to feelings of depression. Steroid addiction treatment is therefore most effective in a residential rehabiliation centre where anabolic steroid addicts can be safely supervised through the detox process. Detox needs to be followed with a number of techniques to treat the addiction long-term. These include individual and group counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and often anger management classes. Family counselling is often recommended to mend relationships that have broken down as a result of steroid addiction. At Addiction Helper, we can provide you all the advice and support you need to set you on the path to recovery from an addiction to anabolic steroids.