Finding a Anabolic Steroid Rehab in Colorado
Anabolic steroids are substances that add specific hormones within the body’s cells, usually used by those who want to gain muscle or improve physical performance. Although the effects of these drugs seem beneficial, their misuse can lead to addiction. Read further to find out more about anabolic steroid addiction.
Addiction to Anabolic Steroids
Often, anabolic steroids are given as prescription medications. These substances are commonly abused by people in the bodybuilding communities, or athletes who want to maintain their fitness. The difference between anabolic steroids and other illicit drugs is that they don’t produce the same euphoric effects–however, withdrawal symptoms may occur when people stop using them.
People who regularly use these drugs beyond the prescription limits are at a high risk of becoming addicted. Additionally, those who take anabolic steroids often find themselves having a higher level of tolerance. Higher tolerance to steroids, withdrawal symptoms, and a desire to take the drugs beyond the dosage limit are all signs of addiction
What are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are various types of synthetic drugs that have chemicals that are structurally similar to the testosterone hormone found in males. The drug is medically known as “anabolic-androgenic steroids”. The term “anabolic” means that the drug is capable of building muscle, while the term “androgenic” refers to its abilities to create physically masculine features.
Another drug exists in the market called corticosteroids, which is different from anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are used to treat allergic reactions–a good example of a popular variant is prednisone. The effects of corticosteroids are different from anabolic steroids, and they don’t help build muscles or stimulate appearance of masculine features.
Various anabolic steroids are available through a prescription and many have medical applications. For example, there are many conditions that are in need of anabolic steroids such as:
- Delayed onset of puberty – when a male child reaches late adolescent stage, but does not produce masculine physical features at this period
- Hormone imbalances – some men have difficulties producing testosterone naturally, resulting to health problems and problematic physical appearance issues
- Muscle atrophy due to disease – anabolic steroids can also be given to patients who have lost muscle and are in need of medication to regain strength
- Various types of anemia – testosterone-mimicking properties of anabolic steroids can also help in increasing red blood count
Anabolic steroids come in different forms: through pills, gels, creams, or injected subcutaneously. Some of the common street terms for anabolic steroids include: juice, hype, roids, or stackers. Known brands in the market are:
In other cases, those who abuse anabolic steroids would go as far as using variants prescribed by veterinarians. For example, Equipoise is a common steroid prescription as it is more affordable, easily accessed, and can produce the same physical results.
What are the different types of Anabolic Steroids?
Manufacturers have created several types of anabolic steroids over the last 10 years. The goal of researchers and chemists is to retain the effects of anabolic steroids, while reducing the androgenic side-effects which may cause addiction or other health risks. The following are the different types of anabolic steroids:
At present, there are 100 types of anabolic steroids that were developed, but there are only a handful of variants that are for human and veterinary purposes. All of the types of anabolic steroids mentioned above are Schedule III drugs, which means they would require prescriptions to be used medically. A lot of illegal anabolic steroids are smuggled from other countries, or illegally diverted from pharmacies in the country, or created in hidden laboratories.
How are Anabolic Steroids used?
The majority of anabolic steroid users take pills. Some want faster results, thus they incorporate use of hypodermic needles to be placed under the skin with direct contact to the muscles. Those who see dramatic results in their body may be prone to use the drug over and over again, resulting to abuse and eventually addiction.
Individuals who have abused anabolic steroids for over 10 to 100 times more than the required dosage should be given immediate medical attention as this could also be another sign of drug addiction. Some users take different variants of anabolic steroids to achieve better effects. This activity is called “stacking”, which is used to hyper-activate muscle growth. Steroid abusers try to take the drugs in 6-12 week cycles.
At the first portion of the cycle, the user takes low dosages and moved up gradually to higher doses. The second half of the cycle, the users try to tone down the dosages again, and repeat this process for another 6-12 weeks. According to medical data, these methods do not work and may even pose health risks when done continuously.
Are Anabolic Steroids addictive?
Users of this drug may start to have unique experiences about gradual dosages and also coming off the anabolic steroids. Some take them plainly for medical purposes, as a way to achieve a physical goal such as those suffering from hormonal imbalances or muscle atrophy. However, they may notice a wide range of withdrawal symptoms related to anabolic steroid addiction, such as mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of focus, loss of appetite, anxiety, insomnia, reduced libido and the cravings for more steroids.
The desire to avoid the withdrawal symptoms of anabolic steroid use may result to people trying to take more of the drug apart from its recommended dosages. This phenomenon makes the anabolic steroids addictive to some people who are more susceptible. Anabolic steroid addiction is not as powerful compared to other drugs such as meth, cocaine, or heroin, but the increased tolerance for them makes people drug-dependent.
Steroids effects and abuse
Like any other drug, anabolic steroids go through the body’s circulatory system which is connected to the heart and liver. Thus, those who abuse the drug may have a high risk of developing heart or liver disease especially when used long-term.
Below are some of the physical effects that happen both for men and women during anabolic steroid use:
- Development of acne
- Inflammation or fluid retention
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol levels
- Reduced sexual appetite
- Increased muscular size
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Increased appetite
When anabolic steroids are continually abused, there are potentially life-threatening risks. These include:
- Blood clot problems
- Heart attack
- Liver and heart damage
- Decreased sexual function
- Stunted growth in teenagers
- Injured ligaments, tendons and muscles
- Bacterial infection, HIV, abscesses when anabolic steroids are injected
- Abnormal muscle size
Signs of steroid use
When you or your loved one is using anabolic steroids, there are things that you may notice with the way they look or how they behave. Here are some of the signs that you can notice steroid use:
- Rapid increase of muscles
- Appearance of pimples
- Deepened voice for women
- Increased hair growth
- Sudden fits of aggression or violence
- Noticeable weight gain
Aside from this, you may also notice other withdrawal symptoms when you or a loved one tries to get off from anabolic steroids. For example, they may show signs of anxiety, restlessness, decreased appetite, loss of focus, or irritability which is uncommon to their usual interactions.
Dangers of Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic-androgenic steroids may seem to be a highly-coveted drug due to its power to show physical strength and improved confidence. However, many people overlook the potential damages that these drugs can do to the body. There are several long-lasting and irreversible health risks that anabolic steroids can cause.
For example, chronic users may experience heart attacks, strokes, liver problems, kidney problems, and psychiatric issues. Those who try to withdraw from the steroids may have depression, leading continued use and even thoughts of suicide.
In many instances, users have suffered from contamination with anabolic steroid injectables. Infections, abscess, tetanus, hepatitis and HIV are all possible risks.
Steroid abuse statistics
Here are some of the anabolic steroid abuse facts:
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that there are over 500,000 8th and 10th graders abusing anabolic steroids.
- Majority of the anabolic drug abusers do not think that there is a life-threatening risk in this drug addiction.
- Approximately 1,000,000 Americans have used anabolic steroids in their lifetime.
- There is a significant increase of anabolic steroid abuse among teenagers since 1991.
- Some NFL players such as Mike Cloud and Lee Flowers have been suspended for anabolic steroid use. These drugs are prohibited in most professional sports entities.
- Law enforcement is also affected by anabolic steroid abuse, with incidents of police exchanging other types of drugs for anabolic steroids.
The effects of steroids in men vs. women
There are varying degrees of effects that can be noted in men and women. Since anabolic steroids mimic testosterone, physical effects are different between men and women.
Physical effects for men
- Lower sperm count
- Difficulty urinating
- Heart problems
- Liver damage
- Liver cancer
- Development of breasts
- Shrinking of testicles
Physical effects for women
- Reduced breast size
- Excessive hair
- Lower voice
- Increased clitoris size
- Irregular menstrual cycles
Dangerous drug combinations
Anabolic steroids and amphetamines
Anabolic steroids when combined with stimulants such as amphetamines can cause aggressive behaviors for its users. In a study, these experiments yielded aggressive behavior in laboratory animals as well as people. Even during the last intake of anabolic steroids and amphetamines, the effects can last fo over three weeks. It is believed that this combination can result to brain-altering effects which may induce violence, aggressive behavior, and suicidal tendencies.
Anabolic steroids and cocaine
Anabolic steroids and cocaine are known to alter cardiac functions. The use of this drug is known to increase the thickness of the ventricle walls, compared to using either one of the substances only. The continuous use of both anabolic steroids and cocaine can burden the heart significantly, increasing the heart rate and putting the person at risk for a heart attack or a heart failure.
Anabolic steroids and alcohol
Anabolic steroids when mixed with alcohol are quite similar to stimulant combinations, as it can decrease inhibitions and heighten risk to perform aggressive actions. There is a significant loss of control in people who continually use alcohol and anabolic steroids, due to the defective functioning of the brain’s serotonin tractus.
The use of anabolic steroids mixed with alcohol was associated to several hate crimes and violent crimes done by individuals in the past.
Recognizing an addiction to Anabolic Steroids
If you are worried that you or a loved one is suffering from anabolic steroid abuse, the first step is to determine the signs of drug abuse. Some of the common signs that indicate anabolic steroid addiction include:
- Quick shift of moods – you may notice that the person taking the drug will have fits of rage, but would calm down quickly after the drug wears off. The intense high and low expression of emotions can be a possible sign of anabolic steroid addiction.
- Anxiety and restlessness – people who abuse anabolic steroids may also show signs of extreme worry, irritability, and inability to relax. This is due to the effects of the drugs wearing off, which may present as long-term psychological problems when not treated properly.
- Steroid cravings – you may notice that a person who abuses anabolic steroids would have several packages, bottles, or packs of the drug stashed in their medicine cabinets. In rare occasions, they may express their need to take the drug especially when it is not readily available.
- Increased secrecy – some users would try to hide their addiction by isolating themselves. Upon discovery, you may see different anabolic steroid drug paraphernalia such as injections, pills, and veterinary medicines even when the user doesn’t have any pets.
Treatment for Steroid Addiction
Anabolic steroid addiction can be treated like any other type of drug problem. The first step is to acknowledge the addiction and seeking professional help.
Drug detox is a medically-assisted program that aims to remove the remnants of the anabolic steroids in the body. It aims to normalize the bodily functions similar to the state before the drug abuse. It also targets to minimize the dangerous effects of withdrawal symptoms.
Anabolic steroid addiction recovery is also accompanied by behavioral therapy. Inpatient or outpatient clients may avail of services by a behavioral therapist which helps them adapt mindsets and decision-making strategies that help them towards recovery progress.
Psychiatrists and other doctors may prescribe medications such as anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other substances that counter the effects of anabolic steroids. In some instances, doctors can also prescribe synthetic hormones to help re-balance the testosterone levels in the patient’s body.
Learn about Our Amenities
24/7 Medical Staff
Getting help now
If you want to find a way out of anabolic steroid addiction, it is never too late to call for help. Visit a trusted rehabilitation center to seek counseling and treatment right away.