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Dangers of Steroid Abuse

Anabolic Steroids are synthetic drugs that have the same functional properties as testosterone. They do have legitimate medical uses and are a prescription. Some people use these drugs to change their physical appearance and abilities, which is considered Steroid abuse. Steroids are generally used either orally or through intermuscular injection. The doses used to boost performance are generally 10 to 100 times higher than the used to treat legitimate medical conditions. People may take steroids to gain an edge competitively, but in some cases, it can lead to addiction.

Using Steroids may not seem like a dangerous thing to pursue at first, however, over time Steroid use can significantly damage a person’s body and mind. It is crucial to make sure that people who use Steroids know the danger and potential for addiction.

It is easy to go from abusing Steroids to addiction. Steroids differ from other drugs in that they do not produce the immediate high. Instead, repeated steroid use is needed to produce an increase in such neural chemicals as dopamine, serotonin, and pain suppression.

Street Names for Steroids

Steroids are famous for their nicknames. People might call them by the name steroids, their brand or generic name or any of the following street names.

  • Roids
  • Juice
  • Gear
  • Stackers

Effects of Steroids

Steroids are powerful drugs used to save the lives of many people. There are different types of steroids, namely anabolic, androgenic, and corticosteroids.  These drugs provide life-saving therapy to people around the world every day. Some steroids, anabolic steroids, have potential to be abused and cause addiction. People who take anabolic steroids recreationally are typically use them to increase muscle mass past what their body would naturally. The body is not meant to contain such quantities of steroids, however, and the overuse of them can lead to serious health and relationship problems. Steroids are known to cause serious mental problems, such as paranoia, delusions, irritability, and impaired judgement, severe acne, and swollen areas, commonly the hands and feet.

Warning Signs of Steroid Abuse in a Loved One

When a loved one has started abusing Steroids, it can be difficult to determine the source of the problem. Arguments, fights, constant irritability can make one question. If you are in a situation where everything seems to be going wrong, consider talking to a professional about the issues. A therapist or counselor may be able to help you find the cause. Other ways to determine if Steroid abuse is the culprit is by looking for the following signs.

Steroid abuse usually comes with changes in physical appearance, such as muscle tone. Steroid abuse is usually started by people looking to achieve a certain physical ideal. The purpose of Steroids is to gain more muscle mass than is naturally possible.

Irritability is another sign of Steroid abuse. If your loved one is more irritable and aggressive than usual, it is a good sign that he or she is abusing steroids. Aggression and being unreasonable are signs of Steroid abuse and has a term – roid rage.

Another symptom of Steroid abuse involves changes. Acne often comes with Steroid abuse as does swelling, typically of the hands and feet. If your loved one displays such physical maladies without another viable explanation, it may be time to get help.

Factual Dangers: Steroids

Steroids may be prevalent but abuse can lead to serious health problems. Abuse of Steroids are known to cause serious problems with relationships and can potentially permanently damage the body. Steroids have been linked to organ damage, organ failure and a host of mental issues. If your loved one is in denial, consider staging an intervention. The Steroid abuse and addiction must be addressed before the person can live a happy and healthy life.

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Fast Facts: Steroid

In this section we will spotlight key facts about the featured substance.The infographic series highlights the devestating effects that come withsubstance abuse, not only for the user but everyone connected to them.

 

Emergency room visits related to pain killer use rose 153% from 1995 to 2002, while admissions to drug treatment programs for individuals using Steroid rose 321% from 1995 to 2005

Deaths related to pain killer abuse rose 160% from 1994 to 2004.

Painkiller abusers get their drugs from friends or family members. Only about 4% get Steroid from illegal dealers or strangers, and about .1% obtain Steroid from the Internet.

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Steroid Rehab Treatment

Though you might not think it, there are a lot of people out there who struggle with Steroid abuse. As such, there are treatment programs available to help you get back on your feet. When looking for a rehab, it’s important to find one that offers the best individualized care for your specific needs. Personalized treatment tailor fits the program to your needs. These are often better as it eliminates wasting any time on unproductive activities.

People who struggle with addiction often have other issues to contend with. Some common mental issues are depression, bipolar and anxiety.  Dual diagnosis means that both the substance abuse and the other mental disorder must be addressed in order for the individual to successfully recover from either. Many treatment centers are equipped to treat dual-diagnosis patients. Make sure to do your research and find one that offers such supportive care.

At times, people use drugs or alcohol to cope with other problems. Using drugs like Steroids is often a way to mask problems stemming from other areas. Through extensive therapy and educational groups, you will learn about the disease of addiction and identify the underlying reasons for your using. Experts will provide guidance, care and teach you healthier ways of coping with stress, expectations and problems. No matter your story, it is never too late to recover.

Steroid Detox Treatment

Anabolic Steroids cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Steroid addiction and withdrawal should be treated as any other drug addiction as the driving force behind it is faulty and dangerous core beliefs and thought processes. Detox is the first stage of treatment needed to overcome the negative thought patterns. Steroid withdrawal can be extremely difficult and dangerous to endure alone.

Withdrawal symptoms can vary widely depending on what, how long, and how much was used, as well as other factors, such as genetics, overall health, age and others. When detoxing off Steroids, close monitoring is critical. In most cases, the drug must be tapered as stopping suddenly can cause severe health problems. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are weakness, fatigue, nausea, decreased appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In a treatment facility, medical professionals will also provide medications to ease discomfort while you go through the detox process.

Depression is one of the major concerns when weaning off Steroids. Severe depression and suicidal tendencies are of concern and occur often during the detox process. Some symptoms, including depression, have been noted to last a year after stopping the drug completely. It is important to be medical supervision in the beginning and learn coping skills to handle the process.

Addiction to Steroids

Steroids are addictive, even though they do not produce the immediate euphoria that is common with other drugs. This drug does produce mental, physical, social and emotional changes that are typical of drug addiction. Anabolic Steroids cause a hormone imbalance. They are a synthetic version of testosterone. Abuse of these drugs floods the system, causing a cascade of physical and mental reactions.

If legitimately prescribed and taken as directed, these drugs save lives. However, those abusing these substances to accelerate achieving a certain physique do not need the drug and tend to take doses astronomically high. These drugs do produce a mental change. Changes in serotonin, dopamine, and other systems are linked to long-term use. They also produce dramatic mood swings and other side effects, such as irritability, hostility and delusions.

Many people who abuse Steroids use them in cycles. Despite this cyclical use strategy, Steroids still cause serious health problems and mental disturbances. Various therapeutic approaches used in treatment help people understand the reasons why they gravitate toward using. It is of the utmost importance that people with substance abuse issues realize that it is not a matter of fault. Addiction is a disease caused by a myriad of social and genetic factors and not caused by moral or ethical deficiency.

Steroid Withdrawal

Those withdrawing from Steroids may experience a number of alarming symptoms. Stopping Steroids after use for a substantial period can cause serious mental and emotional disturbances. Depression is one of the bigger concerns as those in Steroid withdrawal are highly prone to suicidal thoughts and attempts. Other mental issues such as mood swings, decreased sex drive and sleep disturbances.

Steroid withdrawal is also marked by cravings, loss of appetite, restlessness and fatigue. Steroid abuse throws critical hormone levels out of the normal range, causing the detox process to potentially last longer than with other drugs. The body must reestablish its normal levels for the withdrawal symptoms to cease.

Some studies suggest that Steroid users tend toward Opioids in an attempt to lessen the symptoms caused by Steroid abuse and withdrawal. This can complicate the matter exponentially. If a person is abusing both and tries to stop one, he or she is likely to rely more heavily on the other substance. However, if both are stopped at the same time, the withdrawal process could be exceptionally dangerous unless under the care of a physician. If you or someone you love has been abusing Steroids, reach out and seek professional advice immediately. It is vital that you be under the supervision of medical professionals for the duration of the detox process.

Seeking help for a loved one

  • What Do I Say in A Steroid Intervention?
    You will speak directly to your loved one, only speaking in love and concern while leaving out judgment or anger. Let him or her know the negative impact their Steroid addiction causes you.
  • What If My Loved One Does Not Go To Steroid Rehab?
    If your loved one does not accept Steroid treatment, he or she will know there is help when he or she is ready. Keep showing them support without enabling your loved ones’ behavior.

Intervention for Steroid Abuse

When a loved one is abusing Steroids, it can seem like the world has been turned on its head. Often communication and trust have been severely damaged by the time it becomes clear that the situation cannot continue as it is. People in active addiction are often secretive and deceptive about their using. The person may lie about what and how much is being used. He or she may start hiding the drugs around the house or other places so that there is always a supply. With behaviors such as this, it is often extremely difficult to talk to your loved one.

The best way to reach your loved one is to stage an intervention. An intervention is a loving way to communicate concern and the need for change. Interventions include the person using and at least one other person. Some prefer a number of family members and friends present; this is not necessary. Some people respond better when in small groups, while others would benefit from a large group of people.  The goal of the intervention is to encourage the person using to enter a treatment.

A professional interventionist can help you decide what method of intervention is best for you and your loved one. The professional can also help you plan the event and decide who and how many people should attend. This expert will also help to keep the conversation focused and calm. The most important aspect of an intervention is the tone. Remember to keep the tone loving and supportive, however, avoid enabling. You want to keep the lines of communication open.

Recovery from Steroid Abuse

People start using drugs for a reason. The drug use is typically a symptom of something else, which is driving the person to use drugs despite the negative consequences. In the case of Steroids, the reason for using is often tied to beliefs about one’s physical appearance and what is desirable. No matter how bad the situation has become, no matter how much has been lost, there is hope for recovery. Recovery from Steroid abuse is not only possible, its likely, given that you are willing to work for it and follow suggestions.

Tragically, often it is only after things have become unbearable that people decide to change. Change is not something people tend to embrace as we are creatures of habit. In the case of addiction this can mean years of heart ache, broken relationships, and lost opportunities. Despite all the bad that has happened, you can turn it around. Millions of people have been where you are and, through working the 12-steps, have found a better way to live.

The 12-step programs were the first successful approach to treating addiction and is the most successful. There are many 12-step programs from which to choose. Anyone with a desire to stop using is welcome to attend meetings. Those new to meetings are encouraged to attend regularly, even making 90 meetings in 90 days and find a sponsor, which is a clean and sober member of the group who has progressed further than you have in the program. This sponsor will help guide you through the program and find the better life that you deserve.

  • How Do I Recover from Steroid Addiction?
    Inpatient treatment is possibly the best way to recover from an Steroid addiction, followed up with support groups like the 12-step program.
  • Will I Be Bored in Steroid Recovery?
    If you attend Steroid support groups, you will connect with many people, attend various events and participate in numerous activities.
  • Can I Die from a Steroid Overdose?
    Yes. Steroid overdose has the potential to kill you. If you see someone showing signs of overdose, call emergency services immediately.
  • Can I Overdose on Steroid?
    You can honestly overdose on any drug if it is being abused.

Dangers of Steroid Overdose

In most cases, Steroid use is not commonly linked to overdoses. It is possible to take too much and cause problems over time. High doses of Steroids can produce many adverse reactions and health complications. Steroids work by building up in the user’s system. Steroids are based on a substance that naturally occurs in the body as a hormone, namely Testosterone. Too much of this substance tends to cause devastating effects to people regardless of gender.

Heart problems are one of the consequences of high doses or prolonged use. This could mean an enlarged heart, changes or elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an increase in risk of heart attack or stroke. Age is not a determining factor for these conditions when the person is abusing Steroids. A person of any age could die suddenly as a direct result of using. Other potential problems include liver and kidney damage or failure. This could result in a dependence on dialysis or the need for an organ transplant.

Other problems that arise are gender specific. Men tend see a shrinkage in their testicles and a decrease in sperm count. They may also develop breasts and baldness. Additionally, there is an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Women may experience such issues as male-pattern baldness, growth of facial hair, and a deepening of the voice. Other issues include an enlarged clitoris and a change or stop in menses. Teenagers or people who have yet to mature may experience a stunting of growth, such as stunted height.

Steroid Use, Abuse, and Dependency

Research in Steroid abuse has unearthed some fascinating facts about the drugs and the market that supply them. Although Steroid abuse and other performance enhancing drugs are often in the headlines tied to famous athletes, the vast majority of people who abuse steroids are average people who want to get fit and fast.

The multi-billion dollar a year industry is fueled by regular people wanting to look like the chiseled forms they see in magazines. It appears that over-the-counter options are easier and cheaper than Testosterone bought through legal sources. Most people see an ideal image and want to achieve it as quickly as possible. This drive for instant gratification, has horrendous consequences.

Steroid abuse has become common and fairly accepted in some communities. The bar has been raised to such as degree where body image is concerned, that it is almost impossible to reach it while maintaining a full-time job that isn’t in a gym.

GI Joes from decades ago depict an average physique, today they show something more similar to the Hulk. It is no wonder that men, and women, find that when they compare what they see in the mirror to what is shown in magazines, they fall short.

The struggle with body image and living up to the expectations raised by the media is not new. Time and time again top athletes and average Joes alike chose to make the proverbial deal with the devil almost every time. Pro-athletes have been asked if they would accept a drug that would guarantee a win but would cause their death within five years. They accepted.

The deal was not just a proverbial one and does not exist in stories alone. There are long lists of professional athletes and bodybuilders who, typically, died in their 40s as a result of Steroid abuse and other performance enhancing drugs.

It seems a requirement in pro-sports and body building circuits to use performance enhancing drugs to compete. That is one problem, however, not as common a problem as the standards they set in terms of appearance for the rest of us.

For the billions of people who watch TV, look at magazines or surf the web, the peak physique is simply unattainable. In reality, the people photographed and marketed as the ideal male and women have help and support through healthy and, potentially unhealthy means to achieve such high status.

For so many people who are unhappy with their body, the tragic answer received from the media universe is to take Steroids and get in shape fast.

Steroids are addictive, however, and perhaps even more sticky is the idea that one needs a chemical or drug to get in shape. The belief that drugs are the answer may be one of the greatest dangers of all as they not only cause the start of using, but the continuation even once negative consequences outweigh positive ones.

The only reliable way to combat such a situation is with professional treatment. The physical addiction to the drug can be relatively quickly severed. The core beliefs and thought processes that fuel the desire to use, however, those must be eliminated through therapy and other treatment methods. This later part will take longer than the physical components.

The individual often requires inpatient treatment for a number of reasons. Inpatient treatment programs provide the intense support and supervision that some people want and need in order to get sober. Once addicted, people often describe using as having to do so despite not wanting to use. They get the relief needed while inpatient as they are provided the kind of rigorous program needed to turn someone’s life around.

Not everyone can afford the price tag that typically comes with inpatient programs, however. For those, too, there are programs and ways of getting the support needed. 12-step programs are the basis of most treatment centers and the meetings they are completely free.

All that is required of persons looking to get sober through 12-step programs is to show up, listen, take suggestions, and do what is recommended. Everyone is encouraged to get a sponsor and work the 12-steps. Most people in their first days of sobriety are encouraged to do 90 meetings in 90 days, meaning that you do not go a day without showing up and getting connected to the sober community.

The sponsor is someone who has good standing in the sober community, has progressed further in the steps than yo, and displays some aspect of character or achievement that you find desirable. For instance, if education is of great importance to you, maybe look for someone who has gone back to school or reengaged with the world another way after getting sober. Whoever you choose, dive in and start working the steps. The program works to a large degree due to the personal work each member accomplishes, with the aid and guidance of his or her sponsor.

Many people decide that the 12-step programs will not work for them before ever giving them a shot. On the other hand, across the globe and for close to a century, millions of people have regained their lives, health and prosperity through these programs. You can too.

  • Why Should I Go to Group Therapy for Steroid Treatment?
    Group therapy will show you that you are not alone in fighting Steroid addiction.
  • Is Group Therapy for Steroid Addiction Helpful?
    Group therapy with will not only help you learn how to express your feelings on Steroid addiction, but it will also help you form lasting and healthy friendships.

Short-term Effects

Steroid abuse can cause a complete upset of a person’s normal system functioning. The short-term effects focus more on mental and emotional upsets, but some physical side effects do occur. Physical issues associated with short-term Steroid use include acne and edema, particularly in the extremities. The hands and feet most frequently swell. Steroid abuse also causes significant acne. Mood is one of the elements most affected by Steroids. Mood swings are an expected result of Steroid abuse. People taking them have noted fluctuations between depression and a positive outlook.

Paranoia and delusions are other short-term side effects. Steroids affect the brain in a way that paranoid delusions are commonplace. The danger comes with the combination of paranoia, delusions and aggression. Additionally, impaired judgment is associated with Steroid abuse. The term roid rage was coined to describe the aggression and hostility experienced by people on Steroids. The hostile feelings are common with Steroid abuse and can lead to traumatized loved ones.

Tragedies have occurred thanks to the influence of Steroids. Anger mixed with paranoia and aggression can lead to violence quickly. People under the influence of Steroids have been known to lash out and cause serious injury or even kill loved ones. Once the Steroids are removed, the person may feel as though he or she has woken to the devastation caused. If the Steroids are being used intravenously, a host of dangers surround the use and sharing of needles.

Long-Term Steroid Effects

The longer and the greater the doses of Steroids used, the greater the damage. Anyone abusing Steroids for an extended time runs the risk of seriously damaging several organ systems. Among the most commonly affected are the heart, kidneys and liver. Liver and Kidney damage or failure occur due to the stress the Steroids put on the execratory system. Heart problems, including stroke and heart attack, are serious concerns for anyone abusing Steroids.

Addiction to Steroids is one of the great concerns. Once someone has become addicted, he or she is likely to continue using until something or someone convinces him or her to stop. Tolerance is a hallmark issue of addiction, meaning that the person uses increasingly higher doses more frequently to achieve the desired result. Ignoring health problems associated with use is a sign that there is a problem and is common with addiction.

Long-term Steroid can affect men and women differently. Men tend to see a decrease in size of their testicles and a lower sperm count. They could also develop baldness, breasts and are at increased risk for prostate cancer. Women tend to see a development of male characteristics. These include a deepening of the voice, male-pattern baldness and excess body hair. Other issues that are female specific include an enlarged clitoris and a change or stop in the menstrual cycle. If needles are shared, contracting life-threatening illnesses is possible. Hepatitis and HIV are commonly contracted by people who share needles.

  • Why Should I Attend Family Therapy?
    You will build a stronger bond with your family and repair any damage caused from Steroid addiction.
  • What Will Family Therapy Help?
    When you abuse Steroid, you may have caused your family great harm. Going to therapy can help your family see you are changing and they will give you their full support.

It’s What They Need

Your loved one feels isolated and alone in their fight against their addiction. Give them the backup that they need. Holding an intervention for a loved one not only brings their problem to the surface, but shows them that people still care about them. They might be in denial with other people, but most people who have a substance abuse problem are not in denial with themselves. Deep down inside, they know they need help. If you show them that they have support if they decide to get that help, they will be more willing to go to rehab. Let them know that you are not giving up on them.

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Seeking help for a loved one

  • Will Inpatient Treatment Help my Steroid Addiction?
    Inpatient treatment is one of the most effective ways to recover from Steroid addiction.
  • How Long is Steroid Inpatient Treatment?
    The length of your stay in an inpatient program depends on your Steroid addiction and the program you choose to go to.

Inpatient Steroid Rehab

Inpatient rehab centers offer the highest quality treatment. Success rates are greater for those who attend an inpatient program for significant amount of time. Inpatient rehab is a great choice for anyone who has become addicted to Steroids. Steroids are drugs that cause long-term health problems and addiction. Like all drug addiction, Steroid abuse should be treated with intensive therapy and support.

The severe withdrawal and post-detox problems relate to the hormone imbalances that the drugs have caused. These imbalances can take an extended period to rectify, making it imperative that the individual develop coping mechanisms to deal with the stress. Inpatient treatment offers the most comprehensive and intense therapy available. Clients live in the residential facility and are provided transportation and meals. All daily needs and errands are covered by support staff. This amount of care allows the individual to focus solely on his or her recovery, therapy and getting better.

Through the use of individual therapy, group therapy and addiction education, people are able to make progress in a relatively short amount of time. Individual therapy provides support and insight into the underlying reasons for using. Group therapy allows each group member to learn from the experiences of the group and grow together. People who attend inpatient treatment together often form strong, life-long friendships. Educational groups provide the information for each person to understand the disease of addiction and overcome it.

Outpatient Steroid Rehab

Outpatient rehab provides similar therapies on a part-time non-residential basis. People who participate in outpatient rehab often continue to stay in their usual living situation. This can be problematic if the home life attributed to the person’s using. The best way to address addiction is to start with the highest level of care and then taper down. Many people who attend inpatient rehab follow the program with outpatient rehab to stay connected to the counselors and sober community. This level down approach is helpful for people regardless of their drug of choice.

If you cannot commit the time or money to attend inpatient rehab, outpatient is still a great way to get the help you need. If possible, it is recommended that you enter into a sober living facility, which will allow you to focus on sobriety and relax knowing that you are in a drug and alcohol-free space. Outpatient treatment can be exceptionally helpful to those new to sobriety. These programs are often connected to an inpatient treatment center and offer many of the same treatment methods. Individual therapy, group therapy and educational seminars are all ideally offered by the facility.

Individual therapy is focused on the client and helping him or her uncover the underlying reasons for using and overcome them. Group therapy allows all members to learn from the experiences of the group. Finally, educational sessions provide much needed information about the disease of addiction and how to adapt to avoid using in the future.

  • Will Outpatient Help my Steroid Addiction?
    Yes. Outpatient will help your Steroid addiction, but works best if you attend inpatient rehab first.
  • When Should I go to Outpatient Rehab?
    When you are ready to recover from your Steroid addiction, you should go to inpatient treatment and follow it up with outpatient rehab.

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