What are Anabolic Steroids?

Anabolic Steroids

What are Anabolic Steroids?

Although, some people frequently work out to build large, muscular bodies, others use a different method of taking illegal steroids to obtain a strong physique. Steroids are a synthetic substance that can be classified as something similar to the male sex hormone, testosterone. Testosterone is essential in promoting and maintaining the growth of muscles and with developing certain characteristics such as a deepened voice or facial hair.

Steroids can be used in medical circumstances where a man cannot produce enough testosterone on their own or in certain kinds of anemia. Another form of steroids called, Corticosteroids, are used to help reduce swelling in patients. They are like anabolic steroids but are different and can have a harmful effect on the body if used.

From Web Md, “Doctors never prescribe anabolic steroids to young, healthy people to help them build muscles. Without a prescription from a doctor, steroids are illegal.” There are many different forms of steroids. Some of the most common types include:

How are Steroids Used

Anabolic steroids can be used for certain medical situations but are primarily used to enhance performance in sports related experiences. They are used to boost muscle mass, endurance and performance and to allow for less recovery time in between workouts.

Using AAS’s frequently can lead to a tolerance to the drug which could be problematic and even cause the body to stop producing its own testosterone.

People who use AASs will often times use consistently but could reduce the possible adverse effects by choosing a different pattern of use.

Cycling Steroid Use: The person takes AASs in a cycle period of 6-12 weeks which is known as the “on” period but is followed by 4 weeks to several months off.

Pyramiding Steroids: People who use gradually to reach a peak dose period but will then reduce the amount that they use.

Stacking Anabolic Steroid Use: A method called “stacking” is using several different types of steroids or incorporating other supplements in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of the steroids.

Though, there is no evidence that suggests that these methods reduce the risks.

Street Names for Steroids

Some common street names for steroids:

  • Roids
  • Juice
  • Arnolds
  • Pumpers
  • Candy
  • Gym
  • Weight gainers
  • Stackers

Addiction to Steroids

Anabolic steroids are considered legal when they are prescribed by a medical professional and are illegal when they are gotten from individuals and not prescribed. The reason why people will often become addicted to steroids is because they will appear stronger and have more muscle mass that results in higher self-esteem and increased confidence. Only a handful of anabolic steroids out of the hundreds around have been approved for medical use.

“People taking steroids may also develop a tolerance to the drugs and experience withdrawal symptoms such as low sex drive, loss of appetite, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, and depression when they stop taking them. These are both signs of an addiction.”

Although steroids do not produce a “high” or euphoric feeling in patients, they can still be highly addictive and often misused. People who use steroids frequently and without a prescription are at risk for becoming addicted to them. Steroids help a person to achieve desired results with their appearance and body. The need and desire to feel good about themself and how they look can quickly take over their mind, causing a person to continue using steroids to get the same results.

Signs of Steroid Misuse

Common red flags from increased steroid use can include intense “roid rage” and drastic mood swings.

Other side effects that may be common include:

  • Acne
  • Rapid muscle/weight gain
  • Enlarged breasts (in men)
  • Paranoia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Facial hair growth (in women)

Risk Factors

Typically, steroid users are males, but women can also become addicted to them. People who use steroids usually have many years of experience working out, training and have knowledge about nutrition, exercise and the overall body.

From drugrehab.com, “People who we’ve interviewed usually started in college,” Olrich said. “Other researchers found the average user was white, male and about 30 years old. He’s gainfully employed. This is something where someone usually begins at college age or slightly beyond.”

According to many studies, steroids are most common among heavy weightlifters and body builders. Some other risk factors include:

  • Being around someone who uses steroids
  • Being a male
  • Lifting weights frequently at a commercial gym
  • Playing in a sport that requires strength

Body builders and weightlifters are not the only ones to misuse steroids. Other professions that rely on strength for their performance such as construction workers, bodyguards and law enforcement officers are also at risk for misusing steroids.

Treatment for Steroid Addiction

Treatment for steroids should be treated the same as any other drug misuse problem. Even though steroids do not produce a “high” feeling, they still can lead to dependency and cause a person to go into withdrawals. People with these addictions can get the help they need in an inpatient or outpatient program with medical professionals.

“Treating a steroid addiction may involve supervised detox, comfort medication, and behavioral therapy.”

Inpatient Detox and Rehab

One of the most effective ways to treat someone for steroid addiction is through detoxification and behavioral support therapies. Inpatient rehab is a common approach to help support a person through the treatment process. It can also be helpful for someone who has a history of anxiety, depression, anger or other mental health disorders. The inpatient treatment program allows a person to be outside of their normal environment where they typically use drugs. Most treatment centers will offer services such as one-on-one counseling, mealtimes, family visits, support groups, activities and sometimes even chores.

From the Addiction Center, “Inpatient rehab may last anywhere from 28 to 90 days depending on the severity of the addiction and detox needs.”

Ongoing Treatment to Prevent Relapse

People who experience a steroid problem that is mild to moderate may be a candidate for outpatient rehab treatment, which allows them to continue going to school, work and continue their home life. Some outpatient treatment centers are different than others and offer different services that are necessary for each individual case.

Frequently, outpatient care proceeds an inpatient treatment program. It allows the person to transition out of treatment in a safe environment, and allows them to be comfortable living their sober lifestyle.

If you are someone you know is having problems with steroids, please contact someone for help right away.


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