Are Steroids Addictive? What Are The Consequences?

Are Steroids Addictive? What Are The Consequences?

Do you know that steroids are organic compounds found in plants, animals and fungi? However, synthetic steroids are man-made and they are developed as medical treatments. Like most things, uses in relation to health and fitness come along the way. Steroids were discovered to increase protein degradation rates resulting in rapid muscle growth. In its mechanisms, levels of body fat levels are decreased or suppressed. But the results are different from drug to drug and just what steroids intend to deliver.

Interesting users of steroids

Steroid users are mostly male, young athletes and models. Sports lovers could still remember Lance Armstrong who was acclaimed as one who served as inspiration to many athletes of his time. Do you still remember the late-Chris Benoit? He was awarded twice as the world heavyweight champion in wrestling. Barry Bonds is considered as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. The stars of these super players stopped twinkling due to steroid addiction.

However, this weakness is not concentrated only on athletes; it also embraces bodybuilders and models as well as many other ordinary mortals. Some models used steroids to improve the appearance of their bodies and individuals engaged in occupations that are physically to improve strength. Some adolescents use steroids to speed up maturation and puberty.

 

Two types of steroids

Broad type classifications of steroids are: Corticosteroid and Anabolic. Corticosteroids minimized immune responses that are overactive and reduce inflammation and swelling. Anabolic builds up muscles.

  • Corticosteroids

They are steroids produced naturally by the by the body and found in the adrenal cortex located above the kidney. This steroid hormone also assists in the proper functioning of the body. This steroid is divided into two types: mineralocorticoids and the glucocorticoids.

Corticosteroids are medicines as they help in balancing and controlling of diseases.

  1. As anti-inflammatory drugs, they control air ways swelling to lungs.
  2. They are also useful treatment to some other medical conditions including asthma, allergies of the skin, arthritis, lupus and more.

As medicine, corticosteroid comes in the varied forms. They might be packed as inhalers or sprays, in tablet form to be taken orally tablet, or applied as topical creams & ointments and as injectable.

  • Anabolic Steroids

As man-made compound, anabolic steroids are related androgen, a male sex hormone. It imitates testosterone function so it is sometimes referred as anabolic androgenic steroids, or AAS. Anabolic steroids increase protein within the body’s cells and enhance building of muscles. Having virilizing properties, AAS is prescribed to develop male characteristics as body hair growth, vocal chords deepening and testicles development.

Are anabolic steroids addictive?

Two significant factors strongly favored addictive steroid abuse.

  1. Steroid abusers continue to seek out and use the hormones; and
  2. The appearance of withdrawal symptoms when abusers stopped using the steroids.

Steroid users do not top but continue using the steroids as they believe that their more physically attractive and larger muscle mass are due to the steroids. Like other abusers, many continue to use the substance despite warnings of serious health concerns. Many steroids are considered illegal, so users placed themselves at risk with the law as well as monetary and physical risks. Their lack of concern in the high rick involved in the pursuit of the substance is strong indication of true addiction.

They also experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms upon quitting. Steroid withdrawal symptoms are: lowering of sex drive, losing appetite, sudden occurrence of mood swings, extreme fatigue, debilitating insomnia, and feeling of depression.

Consequences of steroid addiction

Steroids are addictive for those who take them cannot stop they have to continue even though they are aware of its untoward side effects. Some users claimed that steroids are non-addictive since no euphoric feeling follows after taking them.

  • Health consequences
  1. Hormonal system – Steroid abuse interrupts normal hormone production that leads to changes. It includes sperm reduction and shrinkage of the testicles as well as pattern baldness for the male and breast development. One study made of male bodybuilders showed that half of them suffered testicular atrophy. Anabolic steroids cause masculinization in the female body. Changes are: reduction of the size of the breast & body fat; coarser skin, clitoris enlargement and deepening of the voice. The bodies of women undergo excessive body hair growth but there will be loosening of scalp hair. Some of these changes are irreversible if steroids are continually administered.
  2. Musculoskeletal system – Due to the rising levels of testosterone and other sex hormones, they started spurt of growth during puberty and adolescence that are signs for stopping growth as well. Children or adolescents taking anabolic steroids, artificially heightens levels of sex hormone that signal prematurely the bones to stop growing.
  3. Cardiovascular system – Athletes that are younger than 30 suffer cardiovascular diseases (CVD) as heart attacks and strokes. Steroid use contributes to this development due to the levels of lipoproteins that are changed as they carry cholesterol in the blood. Oral steroids increase the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL while it raises the level the bad cholesterol and decrease the level of good cholesterol. These are risky levels raising the danger of atherosclerosis where the fatty substance is stored inside the arteries disrupting the flow of blood. There is great possibility that there will be blood clots forming in the blood vessels due to the use of steroids. It also damaged the heart muscles.
  4. Liver

Liver tumors and peliosis hepatis are rare conditions due to steroid abuse. A cyst filled with blood is formed in the liver. Cysts and tumors can rupture and start internal bleeding.

  1. Skin

Skin infection caused by steroid abuse is acne, cysts, and oily hair and skin. Most users are injected with anabolic steroids and they used the technique of nonsterile injection where contaminated needles are not changed but shared with other abusers.

  1. HIV and hepatitis B and C.

Since some steroid preparations are illegally manufactured within nonsterile conditions, these are favorable factors for users to acquire life threatening viral infections, as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Users will start developing endocarditis, an infection caused by bacteria that are potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Bacterial infections also can cause pain and abscess formation at injection sites.

Effect of anabolic steroids on behavior

High usage of anabolic steroids brings heightened aggression and irritability and aggression. Evident results are aggressive acts such as armed robbery or physical fighting or armed robbery, burglary, thievery and vandalism. They also commit aggressive acts as well as property crimes that seldom happened when the individual is drug-free. Recent studies suggest that mood swings and antagonistic behavior during anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse may result from secondary hormonal changes.

Scientists tried to investigate and test how anabolic steroids and aggression result from high steroid doses or placebo. For days and even weeks, human volunteers were required to report on their behavioral symptoms. As of today, four of these studies have been conducted. In three, high steroid doses, subjects experienced greater feelings of aggression and irritability than the subjects using the placebo. Effects were highly variable from different individuals. In one experiment, the drugs had zero effect. Researchers explained that some but not all anabolic steroids results heightened aggression and irritability. But in studies made on animals, there was an increase in aggression after steroid administration.

In some controlled studies, adverse and overt behaviors result following anabolic steroid administration that was reported by a minority of volunteers.

The conclusion is that how far the contribution of steroid abuse to behavioral disorders and violence is still an enigma. Regarding its health complications, there seem to be low or little prevalence of extreme cases of violence and behavioral disorders.

Steroid addiction and consequences

Steroid abusers eventually get addicted to the drugs, proven by their continued use although physical problems have arisen and growing negative effects on relationships. Steroid abusers are observed to waste large amount of money and time in obtaining the drugs. These are more indicators of addiction. Individuals who want to stop experienced unpleasant withdrawal symptoms externalized by extreme fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, poor appetite, reduced sex drive, restlessness and steroid cravings. Depression is the most risky symptom for its common consequences is suicide attempts. Some symptoms of depression are related withdrawal of anabolic steroid that might persist over more than years after user stops taking the drugs.

A steroid rehabilitation program

Although anabolic steroids are useful as medicines, but abuse is rampant. Recovery requires an inpatient setting.

  1. Addiction of steroids can be treated that ranges from regular counseling to staying indefinitely in an outpatient or inpatient/residential rehab.
  2. Medications maybe used in its treatment and withdrawal including the use of analgesics, antidepressants or drugs that enable the normal system to function normally.

There are many things to consider in the process of recovery in the Rehab Center   whether steroids are its main focus. Cost and type of treatment must also be under consideration.

Steroid addiction treatment involves:

  • Detox

The purpose is to remove any steroids remaining in the body and the management of the withdrawal symptoms.

  • Therapy

It must be addressed to any kind of depressive symptoms following withdrawal from steroids. It must work through issues that involved person’s start in abusing steroids.

  • Medications

This is used to help relieve withdrawal symptoms or consider issues of mental health.

  • Aftercare

A provision is made to provide continued support after treatment and prevent relapse.

Steroids are addicting and they should never be considered harmless. An addiction requires rehabilitation and continued treatment. Its consequences will ruin the individual’s chance of living a quality life.

Author, Haley Fox

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