Anabolic steroids are commonly used to treat hormone irregularities in men, delayed puberty, promote skeletal muscle, and combat certain cancers. In the United States steroid require a prescription but similar to other drugs, people are able to obtain the drug through illicit channels. People are turning to anabolic steroids to build muscle and improve athletic performance. This often turns into abuse and is an increasing problem in society today. It is important to understand how anabolic steroids are abused, the signs of abuse, and ways to help someone suffering from anabolic steroid addiction.
What are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are a manmade substance related to the male sex hormone, testosterone. Originally created to treat hormone irregularities in men, delayed puberty, to promote skeletal muscle, to combat certain cancers and other health-related issues. Athletes and bodybuilders often use illegally to build muscle and improve athletic performance. However, more individuals are turning to anabolic steroids to enhance their physical image. Any steroid use without a prescription is both illegal and unsafe.
How Are Anabolic Steroids Abused?
Individuals who abuse anabolic steroids take higher doses than what would be prescribed for a medical condition. Due to this, the health risks associated with anabolic steroid abuse are serious. When someone is taking anabolic steroids without a doctor’s prescription or taking doses other than prescribed, they are abusing steroids.
Steroids can be taken orally, injected, or used on the skin topically in the form of gels or creams. Some steroids come in the form of drops, patches, or implants. Many individuals who abuse anabolic steroids take doses more than ten times the recommended dose. People who abuse anabolic steroids follow a pattern of usage; this is commonly referred to as anabolic steroid cycles. There are three common methods of abuse:
Cycling: a pattern of usage in which multiple doses are schedules over a determined period of time. The individual stops taking the drug for a period of time and then starts the routine again.
Stacking: a pattern of usage similar to cycling but includes two or more different types of anabolic steroids. This method is used by individuals who hope to increase the effectiveness of the steroids used.
Pyramiding: a pattern of usage where the individual starts at a low dose and slowly increases the number and frequency of use with multiple types of steroids. The cycles are often 6-12 weeks long.
How Do Anabolic Steroids Affect the Brain?
Anabolic steroids affect the part of the brain that controls mood, called the limbic system. Anabolic steroids have shown to trigger aggressive behavior and mood swings in some people. An individual who is abusing anabolic steroids may appear hostile, aggressive, and even become violent. This is commonly referred to as “roid rages.” Steroids can also lead to paranoia, delusions, and inaccurate perceptions of ability. Long-term anabolic steroid abuse can cause changes to an individual’s level of dopamine and serotonin. Individuals who stop taking anabolic steroids often become depressed, even suicidal.
Signs of Anabolic Steroid Abuse
- The rapid increase in muscle growth
- Decreased body fat
- Deepened voice
- Aggression or hostility: “roid rage”
Long-Term Effects Seen in Men:
- Male breast development (Gynecomastia)
- Disrupted hormone production
- Decreased sperm production
- Testicular atrophy
- Male-pattern baldness
Addiction Treatment Los Angeles
People are turning to anabolic steroids to build muscle and improve athletic performance. This often turns into abuse, and is an increasing problem in society today. If you are concerned that someone you love is abusing anabolic steroids it is imperative that you take action. You can never be too safe or intervene too early. If you know someone that needs help please do not hesitate to give us a call and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please call (888)357-7577 or simply click the link below.