Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone. They are often abused to promote muscle growth, enhance athletic ability or physical performance, improve physical appearance or increase strength. Some of the most abused anabolic steroids are testosterone, nandrolone, methandienone, boldenone and stanozolol and are available in tablets and capsules, sublingual-tablets, liquid drops, gels, creams, transdermal patches, subdermal implant pellets and water-based and oil-based injectable solutions.
Some methods of abuse of anabolic steroids are orally, injected intramuscularly or applied to the skin. Users often use steroids in a cyclic manner, the school of thought being that this type of use will improve the effectiveness of the drug as well as minimize the negative or adverse health effects on the user.
Studies and research indicate that use and abuse of anabolic steroids can cause negative mood and behavioral effects, such as dramatic mood swings, increased feelings of hostility, impaired judgment and increased levels of aggression (this is often known as “roid rage”). Often when users of steroids attempt to get off or stop taking the drugs, they experience withdrawal symptoms such as extreme depression that sometimes can turn the user suicidal. Anabolic steroids also may lead to psychological dependence and addiction.
The use of anabolic steroids is associated with many adverse physical effects from both use and abuse. In adolescents, anabolic steroid use can stunt height and in boys cause early sexual development and acne. In men, steroid use causes testicular shrinkage, reduces sperm count, enlargement of the male breast tissue, sterility and an increased risk of prostate cancer. In women, steroid use and abuse can cause permanent physical chances such as a deepening of the voice, increased facial and body hair, menstrual irregularities, male pattern baldness and lengthening of the clitoris. In both men and women, anabolic steroid use can lead to coronary artery disease, strokes and heart attacks as well as cause damage to the liver, acne and overt fluid retention. Use of injectable steroids can up the risk for contracting various infections and diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or hepatitis C or bacterial infections.
Anabolic steroids often are controversial for those in recovery because many people believe that someone taking anabolic steroids isn’t clean and sober. Often for someone using steroids in recovery, there is a large area of concern. Many people suffering from addiction issues also suffer from body-image issues, thus the body image issues become increasingly concerning once the drugs and/or alcohol are removed from the picture. Underlying causes and conditions of an addiction can easily be transferred by a person towards an obsessive-compulsive behaviors related to physique and therefore what often happens is one addiction is replaced by another. What are the motives for using the steroids by the person in recovery? Low self-esteem? Fear? Needing to be accepted or achieve a certain physical appearance in order to feel good about themselves? These are often issues that need to be addressed if someone in recovery begins using and abusing dangerous anabolic steroids.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a drug and alcohol addiction and needs treatment please call us for help. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive addiction treatment in the area. If we aren’t the best fit, we will work with you to find a treatment center that fits your needs. Please call us at (410) 773-0500 or email [email protected]. For more information on all of our alcohol and addiction treatment services and resources, please visit the web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.