Addiction to Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are prescription medications often abused by people who want to look and be more fit. Even though steroids don’t produce euphoria like a typical addictive substance, those who regularly abuse these drugs are at risk of becoming addicted.
Signs of an addiction include:
- Spending large amounts of time and money getting or using steroids
- Ignoring responsibilities at work or home
- Continuing to use steroids despite physical side effects like hair loss
- Having persistent issues with friends and family
- Experiencing severe depression as a result of withdrawal
Someone looking to quit taking steroids should look for help. In treatment for steroid addiction, doctors can prescribe medications to restore healthy hormonal balance and reduce depressive behavior.
What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs that mimic testosterone, the male sex hormone. The full name of these drugs is “anabolic-androgenic steroids.” The word “anabolic” refers to the drug’s muscle-building effects, and “androgenic” refers to its masculinizing effects.
Another type of steroid, known as corticosteroids, shouldn’t be confused with anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are often used to treat allergic reactions. These steroids don’t have the same effects as anabolic steroids, as they don’t facilitate muscle growth and don’t mimic the male sex hormone.
Anabolic steroids are available with a prescription and have important medical applications. Doctors prescribe anabolic steroids to treat several medical conditions, including:
- Delayed puberty
- Hormone imbalances in men
- Muscle loss due to disease
- Certain types of anemia
Anabolic steroids come in the form of pills, injectible liquids and topical gels or creams. Street names for anabolic steroids include juice, stackers, hype and roids. Some of the most common steroid brands include:
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Steroid Effects and Abuse
People abuse anabolic steroids to change their physical appearance and abilities. Some athletes and bodybuilders use steroids for a competitive edge. For many, the pressure to stay competitive is a major factor in the decision to use steroids. However, many people taking steroids just want to look better.
There are three common ways people abuse anabolic steroids. They are:
- “Stacking” – Stacking is taking multiple types of steroids at once or mixing oral and injectible formulations. Many steroid abusers believe stacking increases results, but this method has not been scientifically proven.
- “Cycling” – Cycling is a process of taking steroids during predetermined periods of time, usually 6-12 weeks. Users who are cycling take multiple doses for several weeks, stop for several weeks, and then start taking the steroids again. Steroid abusers use off-cycles to allow the body to produce its own testosterone and to reduce damage to internal organs.
- “Pyramiding” – Pyramiding is a method of taking steroids during a cycle. In the beginning of the cycle, users start with a low dose and gradually increase to a maximum dose mid-cycle. In the second half of the cycle, the user slowly tapers down their steroid dose.
Many people don’t realize steroids are addictive, and it can be hard to quit without help. Many steroid users who quit on their own relapse. If you’ve been struggling with an addiction to steroids, help is available. Call now to learn more about your treatment options.