Steroid abuse and steroid addiction often brings to mind competitive athletes who are trying to get an edge on the competition, such as extremely muscular bodybuilders. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), since the 1980s, steroid use by male, non-athlete weightlifters has exceeded steroid use by competitive athletes.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids, frequently shorted to “anabolic steroids” or just “steroids,” are synthetic substances that mimic naturally occurring testosterone in the body. They are sometimes used to treat medical conditions such as muscle loss, delayed puberty, low testosterone levels, and other circumstances, according to NIDA. But they are also very effective at increasing lean muscle mass in the body when they are used in tandem with weight training, and because of their muscle-building properties, they are frequently misused.
Anabolic steroid addiction and the side effects of anabolic steroids can cause a host of consequences affecting health, relationships and finances. In some cases, it may even lead to death. It can be extremely difficult to break free of an anabolic steroid addiction, but getting professional help can have a huge positive impact. Read on to learn more about anabolic steroid addiction and the addiction recovery services offered by The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers.
A few things set steroid addiction apart from regular steroid abuse, according to NIDA:
Steroid addiction begins with steroid abuse. According to NIDA, most of the people involved in steroid abuse are male, are in their 20s or 30s, and lift weights but are not professional athletes. Users of anabolic steroids frequently exhibit one or more of the following traits:
Additionally, many people who use anabolic steroids suffer from muscle dysmorphia, where they think they look small, short, or weak even if they are actually big and muscular. A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says that for a male who has muscle dysmorphia, the goal is to get as large, muscular and “ripped” as possible.
According to NCBI, many people who are trying to achieve personal fitness or body goals may start out using sports and nutritional supplements but then, over time, turn to alternatives such as erythropoietin, human growth hormone, or anabolic steroids. As individuals start to see results, they feel encouraged to keep going, believing that just one more cycle of steroid use will get them to their goal — but there’s always one more cycle.
Anabolic steroids can be taken in a few different ways: orally, by injection, or through topical gels or creams applied to the skin.
The following types of steroids are examples of those that are commonly misused, according to NIDA:
Anabolic steroids can cause severe and sometimes irreversible damage in users, according to NIDA. The term “Roid Rage” comes from the aggression that anabolic steroid abuse can cause, possibly as a result of the hormonal changes steroids make in the body. If you’re wondering how to tell if someone is on steroids (apart from using a urine test), these common side effects of anabolic steroids and symptoms of steroid use may offer a clue:
Anabolic steroid abuse as well as anabolic steroids withdrawal symptoms can also result in psychiatric effects including anxiety, mania, hypomania, aggression, delusions, major depression, and other consequences.
A major part of addressing steroid addiction is to tackle the underlying psychological issues at play, such as muscle dysmorphia or depression. Behavioral therapy and medication are viable steroid addiction treatment options, according to NCBI. A supervised detox period in which medical help is readily available to mitigate steroid withdrawal symptoms may also be helpful.
The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers would like to help anyone who is struggling with steroid addiction. Our experts ensure that our steroid addiction treatment options are carefully tailored to each individual’s needs to bring about the greatest chance for success. The following treatment programs are available and can be customized to help those experiencing steroid addiction: Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Day Program, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), or General Outpatient Program (GOP). Where Residential Treatment is necessary, The Phoenix connects patients with a residential treatment facility partner.
We spare no effort in our goal to equip patients and their families with the knowledge and applied behaviors they need to continue to overcome their anabolic steroid addiction. Our therapeutic, healing recovery experience is adjusted to each patient’s individual needs and is fully supported by research.
This mission statement guides our work: “Empowering individuals and families suffering from addiction and mental health disorders, to celebrate life through lasting solutions.” To achieve our mission, we of The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers offer several steroid addiction treatment programs to suit different patient needs: Residential Treatment, Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and General Outpatient (GOP). We also host weekly Alumni Support Meetings to provide our alumni with ongoing recovery support.