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ABOUT US is a not-for-profit resource for the community, connecting people to addiction treatment and education resources. You can find information on addiction and treatment as well as detailed information on treatment centers nationwide. Our main goal is to provide a comprehensive resource for individuals who are seeking treatment regardless of their situation.

Steroid Addiction

Steroids are a type of drug that were created to improve recovery after an intense workout session or to boost muscle growth. However, these drugs also come with many negative side effects. For instance, continued use could lead to the development of addiction, or a substance use disorder.

If you have been using these drugs, you may have been doing so while trying to enhance your athletic performance, to build muscle faster, or to look fitter. However, you may soon come to regret this decision once you become addicted and cannot stop using them on your own. Read on to find out more:

About Steroids

Steroids, also known as anabolic steroids, are synthetic substances that mimic the testosterone male sex hormone. They are also referred to as anabolic-androgenic steroids, with anabolic referring to the muscle building effects of the drugs while androgenic refers to their masculinizing effects.

However, anabolic steroids are not the only types available. You can also find corticosteroids. Prednisone is an example of these steroids and it is typically used in the treatment of allergic reactions. Cortisteroids do not produce effects that are similar to those derived from anabolic steroids in the sense that they cannot mimic testosterone or facilitate muscle growth.

Today, anabolic steroids can be bought with a valid prescription. This is because they have some essential medical uses. Typically, a doctor will prescribe them for the treatment of the following medical conditions:

  • Breast cancer
  • Certain types of the anemia disease
  • Delayed puberty, particularly in adolescent boys
  • Endometriosis
  • Hormonal imbalances in men
  • Hypogonadism
  • Impotence
  • Muscle loss as a result of a disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Other hormonal conditions
  • -Weight loss among people living with HIV

The drugs work by activating the DNA components in your muscle cells. By so doing, they increase the production of the proteins that are used to build muscle fibers and tissues. As a result, you may notice an increase in body mass and muscle growth over a short time period.

It is also important to keep in mind that steroids can increase bone minerals as well as impact the functioning of the central nervous, reproductive, immune, and other essential organs and systems within your body.

Today, anabolic steroids are available in the form of topical creams and gels, injectable liquids, and pills.

Other Names for Steroids

Anabolic steroids come in the form of pills, injectable liquids and topical gels or creams. They are sold under various brand names, including but not limited to:

  • Anadrol-50
  • Anavar
  • Dianabol
  • Oxandrin
  • Winstrol

On the streets, people who use, abuse, sell, and traffic steroids often refer to them by a wide variety of names to avoid detection by law enforcement officials and other authorities. Examples of these street names include:

  • Andro
  • Gym candy
  • Hype
  • Juice
  • Pumpers
  • Roids
  • Stackers

Signs and Symptoms of Steroids Addiction

If you have been abusing steroids and already developed tolerance and dependence, you could be said to be addicted. After this happens, you may start displaying the following signs and symptoms of steroid addiction:

  • Abandoning pleasurable hobbies so that you can focus on steroid use and muscle-related activities
  • Acne
  • Aggression
  • Breast development
  • Breast enlargement
  • Continuing to use the drugs in spite of the physical and mental health problems that they cause
  • Contracting HIV and hepatitis due to the use of unsterilized needles and shared needles
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Depressive mood
  • Doing muscle-related activities like lifting, planning a diet, and more
  • Drastic appetite changes
  • Emotional and personality changes
  • Excessive facial and body hair
  • Excessive hair loss or shedding
  • Experiencing severe depression
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Halitosis (or bad breath)
  • Having persistent issues with your family and friends
  • Heart problems
  • Hypertension
  • Ignoring responsibilities at school, work, or home
  • Impotence
  • Inability to quit using or decrease the use of steroids as a result of the anxiety you feel about decreasing muscle size
  • Increased aggression
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of libido
  • Mood swings
  • Oily skin
  • Painful erections
  • Poor decision-making
  • Rapid lean muscle gain in a short time period
  • Receiving random and unexplained packages through the mail
  • Reduced appetite
  • Reduced breast size
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Shrunken testicles
  • Spending a great deal of time and money acquiring and using steroids
  • Sudden outbreaks of purplish or red acne
  • Tolerance to the drug
  • Track marks on the areas where you inject steroids
  • Unusually fast muscle growth
  • Unusually greasy hair
  • Using steroids to prevent or alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
  • Voice changes (or deeper voice)
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you stop abusing the drugs
  • Working out more than you used to

Short and Long-Term Effects of Steroids Abuse

Abusing steroids can also lead to a wide variety of effects, including both negative and positive short term and long term side effects. These effects include but are not limited to:

  • Acne
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Blood-borne diseases due to injection use
  • Co-occurring substance use disorders
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Deepening of the voice (in women)
  • Delusions
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Diabetes
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Endocarditis (or infections of the lining of the heart).
  • Enlarged heart muscle
  • Excessive hair growth (in women)
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility issues
  • Growth of breast tissue (for men)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart problems
  • Hepatitis
  • High blood pressure
  • HIV
  • Impotence
  • Increases in cholesterol
  • Irritability
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver cancer
  • Mania
  • Menstrual irregularities (for women)
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Peliosis hepatis (or cysts forming in the liver before filling with blood)
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Roid rage
  • Shrunken testicles
  • Stroke
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tumors of the liver
  • Unhealthy changes in the levels of cholesterol in your body
  • Violent behavior

Steroids Overdose

If you take steroids in excess, there is a high risk that you could suffer a drug overdose. This could happen accidentally or intentionally. Either way, you may end up struggling with the following signs and symptoms of steroid overdose:

  • A high risk for prostate cancer
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Baldness
  • Bone weakness
  • Breasts developing
  • Burning or itchy skin
  • Clitoral enlargement
  • Convulsions
  • Dangerous changes in cholesterol levels
  • Deepened voice
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Enlarged heart
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Facial hair
  • High blood pressure
  • Infertility
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Irritability
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver damage
  • Major mood swings
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Psychosis
  • Shrunken testicles
  • Stunted growth (among young users)
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Vomiting
  • Worsening health conditions

If you suspect that you may be overdosing on steroids, you need to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. You can do this by calling 911 or your local poisons control center.

Steroids Withdrawal Symptoms

If you wish to stop using or abusing steroids, you need to detox your body. This means that the drugs and all the remaining toxins and traces should leave your system and be processed out.

During this process, or if you significantly reduce your normal dose of steroids or completely stop abusing them, there is a high risk that you could develop the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • A decrease in sex drive.
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Appetite loss
  • Concentration problems
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depressive-like symptoms
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Hormonal changes
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of most of your muscle mass
  • Lowered appetite
  • Lowered libido
  • Mood disorders
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Restlessness
  • Steroid cravings
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Tiredness

This condition is also considered to be serious. For this reason, you should only stop abusing steroids after you have checked into a medically managed detox program that can help you overcome these withdrawal symptoms and manage your cravings for this drug.

The Best Options for Steroids Addiction Treatment

The best way to overcome your steroid abuse and addiction is by choosing the right addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. These programs are offered on both an inpatient as well as an outpatient basis.

After your medical detox has been successful and you are no longer displaying withdrawal symptoms, steroid cravings, or physical dependence, you can go for inpatient or outpatient drug rehab.

Your choice of a program will largely depend on the severity and duration of your abuse and addiction, the existence of other co-occurring disorders, and whether or not you were abusing other drugs apart from steroids.


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