Anabolic steroids, also known as performance-enhancing or appearance-enhancing steroids, are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. Anabolic steroids are used medically to treat hormonal problems, including delayed-onset puberty, and muscle loss due to certain diseases. Referred to as roids, stackers, juice, and gear, anabolic steroids are frequently abused by athletes and body-builders looking to build muscle mass. While anabolic steroids differ from other drugs of abuse in their chemical action on the brain, they are addictive and dangerous.
Typically injected into the muscles or taken orally, anabolic steroids may also be applied to the skin as a patch, gel, or cream. Doses may be as much as 100 times higher than those prescribed for medical conditions.
Short-term effects of anabolic steroid abuse include paranoia, delusions, extreme irritability, mood swings, and explosive anger, known as “roid rage.” Severe acne, as well as swelling of the hands and feet, also result. Long-term, anabolic steroid abuse leads to liver damage, kidney failure, and cardiac problems, including dangerously high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and enlarged heart.
In men, frequent signs of steroid abuse include shrinking testicles, decreased sperm count, and breast development. Men who abuse anabolic steroids have an increased risk of prostate cancer. Women, on the other hand, may experience menstrual changes or cessation, male pattern baldness, growth of facial hair and excess body hair, and deepening voice. Teens who abuse anabolic steroids may have stunted growth.
Despite these negative consequences, users continue to take anabolic steroids, because roids are addictive. Anabolic steroids differ from other addictive drugs, however, because they don’t produce the euphoric high that’s caused by a flood of dopamine in the brain. Some of the same neural pathways and chemicals are affected, however, particularly with long-term use of steroids. These changes in the brain profoundly affect mood and behavior.
Symptoms of withdrawal from anabolic steroids include cravings, mood swings, sleep disturbances, fatigue, restlessness, decreased sex drive, depression, and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Behavioral therapy can be extremely effective in treating steroid abuse, along with antidepressants.
If you or someone you love is addicted to anabolic steroids, seek help immediately. Treatment is available, and you don’t have to suffer alone. When you are choosing a private residential treatment center, choose the program that has the highest accreditation’s, focuses on personalized care, and offers the greatest luxury accommodations. Harmony Place provides a full continuum of treatment options, from detox to transitional living, encouraging recovery for a lifetime. For a private consultation and more information, call us today: 1-855-652-9048