Anabolic/androgenic steroids are a collection of drugs that feature testosterone to treat conditions such as impotence, delayed puberty or low muscle tone due to illness. When taken by healthy individuals, the substance can have serious side effects and lead to dependency. For users of steroids, a steroids addiction treatment program can increase the chances of successfully stopping the usage.
Unlike many other drugs used non-medically, steroids do not provide a physical high for the user. There is no euphoric response after taking steroids, or any other immediate reaction to the drugs. The exact reasons behind steroids use vary with each individual, but there are a few common reasons given by users for starting the drugs. Many users entering into a steroids addiction treatment facility report utilizing steroids as a physical performance enhancer. When taken for this reason the steroids improve muscle tone and makes building up additional muscle mass throughout the body easier and quicker than if it were done without the use of steroids. Because of the increase in the ease in muscle development when using steroids other users have claimed their use as a way of enhancing their physical appearance. Regardless of the reasons behind steroid use, long-term usage of the drugs can result in serious physical issues. To avoid these issues, finding steroids addiction treatment as soon as possible is an important step towards returning health.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that the most commonly abused steroids are Winstrol, Equipoise, Durabolin, and Deca-durabolin. All of these steroid types are legally available with a prescription for medical use, which makes it easier for users of the drug to obtain them. It also make it more difficult for law enforcement agencies to prevent their abuse.
Steroids use is not a continuous process. Because there is no appreciable detox period causing withdrawal symptoms, users can quit and return to using steroids at will without the need of a steroids addiction treatment program. To provide the greatest effect toward building muscle tone and mass in users, steroids are often taken in cycles. Each cycle is a period of time during which steroids are taken regularly, and then stopped completely before beginning the reuse of the drugs. These cycles can last for weeks or months at a time. During each cycle, multiple doses of the steroids are taken. “Injections increase the dangers of steroid use, especially if needles are shared among users.”In addition, steroid users often mix the type of steroids taken during each cycle, using different steroids at once to help increase their effectiveness while reducing the negative side effects of steroid use.
Steroids are taken either orally or injected directly into the bloodstream. Injections increase the dangers of steroid use, especially if needles are shared among users. This sharing can increase the chances of acquiring HIV from other users.
According to a 2005 survey of adolescent drug use funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, steroids use dropped among 8th to 10th grade students compared to the survey run the year before. Use among 12th graders dropped as well, falling to 1.5 percent compared with the 2.5 percent usage rate of the previous year. There is no way to measure steroids use throughout the U.S. Most testing and survey resources measuring drug use do not cover the use of steroids. Estimates place the use of steroids among athletes as high as six percent, many of whom will end up quitting the use of the drug eventually, doing so dangerously without the aid of a steroids addiction treatment program.
The use of steroids can result in a variety of noticeable symptoms and side effects. These are the direct result of the alteration of the hormonal level in the user’s body. With regular long-term use, steroids begin to interfere with the normal operation of the user’s hypothalamus, and pituitary and adrenal glands. Symptoms of steroids use include:
- Oily hair and skin
- Mood swings
- Increased aggression
- Paranoid jealousy
While these symptoms are common occurrences, even with short-term steroids use, the long-term use of the drugs can have lifelong effects. These effects may include:
- Stunted bone growth in adolescents
- Deepening of the voice in females
- Excessive body hair growth in females
- Decreased sperm production
- Testicular shrinkage
- Male breast enlargement
- Organ damage
Even after the user ceases taking steroids during time spent in a steroids addiction treatment program, many of these long-term effects will continue. For example, stunted bone growth while taking the drugs during the adolescent years results in a lifetime of reduced height. The breast enlargement that occurs in men is also irreversible, as is any damage done to the liver, kidneys and heart. There are no cures for the long-term effects of steroid use but many of the long-term conditions can be treated through medication.
Even though there is no actual physical dependence on steroids, a short steroids detox period is still necessary for the drug to pass completely out of the user’s system. During this detox period, the user will begin to experience steroids withdrawal. The symptoms of steroids withdrawal are uncomfortable, but aren’t considered medically dangerous. The symptoms of steroids withdrawal include:
- Decreased appetite
- Physical fatigue
- Abdominal pain
Steroids Addiction Treatment
Steroids use alters the hormonal balance of the patient. In order to deal with this imbalance, medication is often necessary to end the effects of the drug on a patient’s system. This is done with the use of pharmacological therapies that utilize several different medications to restore the patient’s normal hormonal balance. Once this balance is restored, most of the long-term side effects of steroids use will disappear. Those effects that are permanent, like stunted growth or organ damage, will remain.
Steroids addiction treatment is largely psychological in nature to deal with the user’s psychological dependence on the drug. Since there is no physical high from taking steroids, this dependence is not towards the drug itself, but rather towards the visible effects that steroid use has on the user.
The primary treatment for steroids use is based on behavioral therapy. This therapy consists of one-to-one therapy sessions with a licensed medical professional, as well as group sessions in a semi-public setting with the user’s peers. For the steroids user, therapy begins immediately upon starting a steroids addiction treatment program.
Rehab in a steroids addiction treatment facility is geared toward discovering the reasons behind the steroids addiction. Treatment also attempts to give the patient a set of psychological tools to deal with those triggers that starts the patient on the path to drug use. Even if steroids use began under medical supervision, long-term use can point to long-term body issues. During steroids rehab, the therapy received concentrates largely on the body issues that the patient suffers from. By approaching the underlying causes of the body issues, the therapist can help the steroids user to cope with those causes, removing the reasons behind the body issues. Without these reasons, there are no longer any primary reasons for the steroids use.
Cognitive behavioral therapy works for the steroids user because it’s centered on altering the user’s current drug habits. This is done by developing new habits during the steroids addiction treatment program to take the place of the formally addictive behaviors.
The long-term steroids user is often obsessed with the effects of the drug. Long-term users can spend hours a day exercising in order to build or maintain their muscle structure and tone. In addition, users may develop hypersensitivity about the appearance of their bodies, watching and obsessing over every little change. These changes are often seen by the user as being much larger than they really are due to the user’s distorted body image. With behavioral therapy, the patient is helped to see his or her body through a clear lens, rather than through one corrupted by the patient’s distorted body image. Therapy during Steroids addiction treatment also concentrates on teaching the patient skills for avoiding a return to drug use.
Drug Rehab CentersRehabilitation centers treat those with a dependency or an addiction to psychoactive substances. Such substances usually entail alcohol in addition to both prescription and illegal drugs. Many rehab centers specialize in treating a certain kind dependency, which allows them to focus all their effort at helping a particular group of people with all of their specific needs. This results in high-quality treatment methods and in-depth expertise. Read More
The psychological addiction to the effects on the user’s body from steroid use can be as strong as the physical addiction that results from the use of other drug types. Making the decision to end the usage of steroids with the aid of a steroids addiction treatment program is a solid first step large towards a clean and sober lifestyle. While most users can quit cold turkey, a successful recovery from extended steroids use is much more likely in an addiction facility. Within an inpatient program, a patient recovering from the use of steroids has the full medical support necessary in the steroids rehab facility to deal with any unresolved psychological or medical issues that may present during the treatment process. If the steroids use covered a secondary psychological or medical issue, those issues can be dealt with immediately.
After going through addiction treatment, the patient can continue with the recovery process by using peer support groups formed to help those with drug dependency issues. Support groups contain a variety of recovering users. Since the percentage of steroid users among those seeking help through steroids addiction treatment is small, most of the members of a support group will not have the experience of being addicted to steroids. Group member will likely have had dependency issues on other drugs. Though their experiences may differ somewhat from the steroids user, these group members can still provide motivational help through the sharing of their specific experiences, stories of their recovery and any issues they have with encountering relapse temptations.
Group support is the key toward continuing recovery after addiction treatment. This is helped by the development of other support structures throughout the user’s life. Family members can become a huge source of support to keep the user from relapse. The time that the user formerly spent on body development can be redirected towards family pursuits, giving the user a solid reason not to return to the steroid use.
A steroids addiction treatment program is only the first step toward recovery from steroids use. Once that step is taken however, the rest are easier. The decision to enter into treatment is a commitment towards receiving the help that the user needs to recover from steroid use and begin to live a drug-free existence. Once that commitment is made, the steroids addiction treatment program, support groups and family support can help the user find continuing reasons for remaining free of steroids.
Steroids and the Family
Because of the body image issues experienced by many long-term users of steroids, seeking help that may destroy their steroid-aided image can be a difficult process. Reluctance towards change can force users to delay in getting. For these delaying users, a member of the user’s family or a close friend can be essential in helping the users make the decision to seek help from a qualified steroids addiction treatment program. If you’re a family member and suspect a member of your family of being a steroids user, it’s best to look for some sort of proof of the drug use before confronting the user. After verifying the use of steroids, a family member or friend can’t force the user to get help. What the family member or friend can do is to offer their support to the user in seeking out the help he or she needs.