The use of anabolic steroids has increased over the years, primarily used by body builders, athletes, and fitness buffs for the various benefits it gives them. We have seen a lot of athletes use this banned substance for enhancing performance.
What are Steroids?
Steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone, the primary hormone found in males. These substances produce a wide range of side effects in different parts of the body such as the muscles, bones, hair follicles, liver, kidneys, immune system, reproductive system, and central nervous system.
At puberty, an increase in testosterone level can result to the development of male characteristics such as beard and body hair growth, linear growth, deep voice, sex drive, and accumulation of muscle mass. Testosterone also contributes to the laying down of bone minerals and can boost competitiveness, self-esteem, and aggressiveness.
Anabolic steroids can be administered orally, injected, or applied to the skin. It travels through the bloodstream and makes its way to the muscle tissue where they are bound to an androgen receptor. The drug then interacts with the DNA of the cell to activate the promote synthesis leading to cell growth.
For non-medicinal purposes, steroids are usually taken in a cycle of 6 to 12 weeks, followed by 4 weeks to several months off. This helps reduce the likelihood of undesirable effects.
Even with the risk, some body builders continuously take anabolic steroids. This may result to tolerance and may lead to the body producing its own testosterone. It is often combined with other kinds of steroids or incorporated into supplements for maximum effectiveness.
Street Names of Steroids
Different kinds of steroids are known with various street names, namely:
Common Name / Street Name
Amino glute ahimid
G. chor. "Endo"
T. cell pharm
General effects of Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are widely used for a diverse array of medicinal purposes, including:
Stimulating protein anabolism in debilitating illness and in acute renal failure.
Promoting growth in children with pituitary dwarfism & other growth disorders.
The retention of nitrogen and calcium may benefit patients with Osteoporosis and patients receiving corticosteroid therapy.
Stimulating bone marrow function in hypoplastic anemia i.e. anemia resulting from inadequately functioning bone marrow.
However, they are not “as good” as they appear to be. These steroids are notorious when abused, and can have serious side effects. Many wanna-be macho men and athletes aiming to improve their strength, stamina, and speed or body size have always abused them. Steroids appear to work by decreasing the amount of time necessary for recovering between bouts of exercise. Because of this, trainees can exercise more often, or more intensely, without overwhelming the body’s ability to adapt.
Over a period of time, the gland that is responsible for the natural production and release of the hormone atrophies in steroid users. This is because their abundant presence in the bloodstream sends signals to various organs and tissues, just like the hormones. Glands also become weak if not used, just like our muscles.
History of Steroids
Steroids and ancient Greece
As surprising as it may sound, anabolic steroids were very much a part of ancient Greece. If you look back at history you will see that steroids were part of the lives of professional athletes. They used natural substances that acted as steroids to increase the anabolic and androgenic growth in their bodies.
Steroids between the 1930s and the 1950s
Post ancient Greece, the first traces of steroids in the 20th century dates back to the 1930s when a scientist from Germany accidentally discovered them in the form of modern medicine. However, no pursuit was made of the same. After about 20 years in the 1950s anabolic steroids came into the limelight in a big way. It was in 1958 that Dianabol or Methandrostenolone proved to be promising at their trials in countries over the world and was approved for use by the FDA in the United States.
From the 1960s to the 1980s
Steroid use became quite sporadic between the 1960s and the 1980s. Even though this happened there were still doubts whether or not the drugs had any real effect on the human body. To ascertain this there was a study that was carried out in 1972 on a group of people, some of which were injected with an anabolic steroid and some of which were induced with placebo. The result was that there was no notable difference between the two sets of people.
The 1990s saw a more controlled experiment carried out by the National Institutes of Health. They injected their subjects with testosterone enanthate through their muscles in fairly high doses that amounted to about 600 mg of the drug per week for a period of 10 weeks. The results showed a clear distinction between these subjects and those who had placebo injections. The subjects under the influence of steroids showed a definitive gain in muscle mass and a decrease in fat.
During this time the US Congress was also working on an act to facilitate the controlled use of this substance. In 1990 the Anabolic Steroid Control Act was put into place. This act placed anabolic steroids into the 3rd Schedule of the Controlled Substances Act.
The route of anabolic steroids in the future is not yet certain. With steroid use and abuse becoming a growing concern of the United States there has been yet another modification to the Controlled Substances Act. This modification was put into effect on the 20th of January 2005 and has opened up the path for the Anabolic Steroid Act of 2004. Under this new act, both prohormones and anabolic steroids are now controlled substances.
Statistics on Steroid Use
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) revealed that over half a million 8th and 10th-grade students are using steroids. Another study revealed that 1,084,000 Americans or 0.5 percent of the adult population revealed that they used anabolic steroids.
When someone mentions the word steroids, the tendency is to associate it with athletes and them using these drugs to enhance their performance. There are also a lot of stories of horror that are associated with them. Steroids are very dangerous if they are not used in the right way and research also shows that the use of steroids can lead to many side effects in the body. Listed below are some of these side effects.
Steroid abuse is common among males aged between 15 and 30 that are looking to improve appearance through looking more muscular, those that are looking to counteract issues relating to impotence, as well as those that wish to improve their body performance through increasing their strength, endurance and stamina.
Although many steroid users will experience little or no side effects, others will. This can depend upon the volumes in which steroids are consumed, the length of time that steroids are taken for, the type of steroids that are taken, and personal health factors such as how resistant one’s body is to the drug.
The 10 most common side effects of steroids include:
Liver tumors are common among those that have taken steroids for long periods at a time. If you suspect you may be having liver-related problems as a result of taking steroids you should consult a doctor immediately.
Should you suspect you are experiencing the common signs of jaundice then you should, of course, consult a medical professional. Signs of jaundice include yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Fluid retention becomes apparent when you experience rapid weight gain, swelling of body parts, your skin holding an indent for a few seconds if you push it in and your joints feeling stiff. All or some of these conditions appearing together could indicate signs of fluid retention.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can result in a heart attack, a stroke and other medical problems. If you are concerned that you may be experiencing blood pressure issues, it is best to undergo a medical examination.
Those that have abused steroids may experience a loss of hair as a result. This can be on your head, as well as in other areas of your body where hair will grow. Although this is a difficult symptom to directly attribute to steroid abuse, it is one factor which is a likely long-term result of abusing steroids.
Shrinking of the Testicles
Obviously, this symptom of steroid abuse is exclusive to men who abuse the drug. This can be both a long-term and short-term symptom, and usually occurs relatively soon after taking steroids, usually affecting most male abusers of steroids.
Infertility and Low Sperm Count
Infertility and low sperm counts are two side effects that will affect male steroid abusers. This is something which will vary depending on what type of steroids you are taking, and will also be more or less prominent depending on the age of the person consuming the drug.
Males who take steroids may experience breast development similar to women as a result of taking steroids.
Teenagers may experience accelerated puberty as a result of taking steroids. This side effect is often an exclusive reason why teenagers may decide to take the drug.
Women who take steroids will often have a deeper voice as a result.
Please remember these are just a few and very summarized explanation of steroid use and abuse. You can get a lot more information about the subject by using some of the below search term ideas about steroid abuse and steroid side effects. If you suspect that your teenager is using steroids, you should act fast and stop them before much harm is done. There are ways to test for steroids and steroids testing can be a tool for achieving a steroid-free home.
Conceptions & Misconceptions about Anabolic Steroids
There are also many popular misconceptions concerning the effects and side effects of steroid abuse.
One popular misconception is that anabolic steroids can shrink the male penis. It is possible that this idea came from a temporary side effect that anabolic steroids have on testicle size (testicular atrophy).
Other purported side effects include the idea that anabolic steroids have caused many teenagers to commit suicide. While lower levels of testosterone have been known to cause depression, but the idea of suicides remain unproven.
Aggression is frequently discussed as a possible side effect of anabolic steroids. Testosterone levels are indeed associated with aggression and hypomania, but the link between other anabolic steroids and aggression remains unclear.
Medical Use of Steroids
Steroids remain a hot topic when it comes to drug abuse discussions. Several reports have highlighted the risks of steroids abuse, and somehow you will wonder why the compounds have been developed in the first place if they have the tendency to become harmful.
Initially, steroids were developed to treat hypogonadism, a condition wherein the sex glands produce little or no hormones. The two main groups of natural steroids are anabolic steroids and corticosteroids.
Anabolic steroids are occasionally used to treat delayed puberty in adolescents, certain forms of breast cancer, osteoporosis, endometriosis, and hereditary angioedema – a swelling disorder.
Corticosteroids have been used to treat a variety of conditions, such as eczema, asthma, and arthritis.
Additionally, steroids help patient with muscle wasting diseases. Yet, even therapeutic steroids users go through steroid testing at one point or another to make sure that their dosage is still within the right limits. However, for organizations looking to screen for illicit steroid use, SteroidConfirm is a reliable means of prevention.
There are many types of steroids that are now available commercially. Some steroids involve topical administration, such as in the case of cream, lotion, and ointment; other kinds of steroids are administered by injection. Below are a few steroids that are medically proven to be effective. Their use requires doctor’s prescription and supervision to ensure that correct dosage are given to the patient.
Prednisone is a type of corticosteroid that is used to treat different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders (asthma). If you are allergic to prednisone or have a fungal infection you should not take the drug.
Furthermore, you must immediately inform your physician if you are suffering from kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disorder, diabetes, osteoporosis, tuberculosis, depression, high blood pressure, or stomach ulcers, just to make sure that you can safely take the drug.
The dosage for taking Prednisone may vary by condition. You should only take the prescribed dosage and follow the directions provided by your doctor.
Prednisone can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to contact infection. Some dangerous side effects associated with Prednisone include vomiting blood, black stools or severe mood distortion.
Fludrocortisone is given to patients suffering from Addison’s disease and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (also known as a salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome). This drug is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Before taking Fludrocortisone, you must notify your physician if you are pregnant, have allergies or any other diseases that may interfere with using the drug. Like other medicines, prolonged or inappropriate use of Fludrocortisone may cause unwanted side effects, such as mood changes, weight gain, belly pain, weak bones, muscle weakness, blurred vision, dry mouth, and chest pain.
Asthma can affect both children and adults. When not treated, the condition can be life-threatening. Inhaled steroids come in three forms: the metered dose inhaler (MDI), dry powder inhaler (DPI), and nebulizer solutions.
Among the inhaled steroids medications that doctors prescribe for better management of asthma are:
Advair (a combination drug that includes a steroid plus a long-acting bronchodilator drug)
Dulera (a combination drug that also includes a long-acting bronchodilator drug)
Symbicort (a combination drug that includes a steroid plus a long-acting bronchodilator drug)
Medical uses of steroids are varied and only the professional health care providers are well equipped to identify which steroids are suitable for a certain patient. It is not advisable for anyone to use steroids unless with a doctor’s prescription and supervision.
Unfortunately, the abuse of steroids in professional sports has overshadowed the positive impact of steroids use in the medical field. Most steroids abusers do not fully understand the risks of steroids until later on in their life, when side effects are starting to appear. If you want to know whether or not your teenager is using steroid, you can introduce the use of a steroid urine test kit at home to discourage the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Psychological Effects of Anabolic Steroids Use
Anabolic steroids have become a source of public concern in the last few decades because they are often abused by some professional sports figures to enhance athletic performance. Even non-athletes are already using performance-enhancing drugs to improve their physical appearance or cope with physical or sexual trauma.
Although the physical side effects of anabolic steroids use have become increasingly worrisome, there are also reported psychological side effects of steroids use that are rapidly gaining concerns among parents and medical researchers.
Anabolic steroids can be taken orally or by means of injection. According to the documentation of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the immediate effects of anabolic steroids in the brain are mediated by their binding to androgen (male sex hormone) and estrogen (female sex hormone) receptors on the surface of a cell. Long-term use of anabolic steroids can have an impact on some of the brain pathways and chemicals—such as dopamine, serotonin, and opioid systems.
Considering the combined effect of their complex direct and indirect actions, it is not surprising that anabolic steroids can affect mood and behavior in significant ways. One way to confirm if the behavior of your teenager has something to do with steroids use is by performing steroid testing. An instant steroid urine test kit can quickly detect the presence of performance-enhancing drugs in just a few minutes without the need for lab analysis.
Steroids user displays episodes of rage, aggression, and/or violence has become controversial because it has been frequently used in popular media reports. Reports of increased aggression are widely documented, often manifesting in violent or criminal behavior. Moreover, steroid abusers variably report extreme mood swings including:
Impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility
On the other hand, withdrawal from steroids use may also trigger the following symptoms:
Loss of appetite
Muscle and joint pains
Effects of Anabolic Steroids on the Brain and Its Potential for Addiction
Testosterone brings out the sexual traits of the males, as well as increases the mass of their muscles. There are some athletes that take in anabolic steroids orally or through injections because they want to develop more muscles rapidly. Anabolic steroids imply that they build or increase.
While there are steroid users that are aware of the negative effects of the drug to their brain and body, they do not know that this can lead to possible addiction.
According to Ruth Wood, Ph.D., who is the lead researcher of the study, a lot of people take in anabolic steroids. People do this because they want to improve their performance. However, these individuals deny that taking in steroids can be addictive.
Steroids are not like commonly abused drugs. Instead of making the users high, they develop muscle mass and enhance performance. It is hard to distinguish an anabolic steroid’s addictive properties. The goal of the study was to design the experimental reproduction of steroid addiction, wherein physical performance and other motivational effects are not relevant.
The study used hamsters implanted with tiny cannulas, which is where the steroids are self-administered into the brain. The subjects spent four hours each day within a chamber that has access to two delivery mechanisms. If the hamster operates the first mechanism (active), it receives a microgram of one of the following: oxymetholone, dianabol, drostanolone, and nandrolone. On the other hand, the second mechanism (inactive) does not produce any responses. A computer gathered the data regarding the times each subject uses each delivery mechanism.
All in all, the hamsters demonstrated a preference for the first mechanism. Because of this, the researchers have been able to determine that there is a potential for anabolic steroids addiction. This is probably due to the effect that steroids offer.
Wood also stated that mental health professionals and psychiatrists should learn more about the finding of the study. This is because steroids have negative effects on the brain. Anabolic steroids affect the limbic system of the user. This is the part of the brain that involves memory and learning and influences the moods.
A study on animals revealed that steroids impair memory and learning. What is more, they can result in mood changes making the user irritable and depressed. They may also become mean to people. What is more, the drugs trigger a part of the brain that controls aggression. When the outbursts get severe, they are called “roid rages”.
Long-Term Effects and Complications of Steroid Abuse
Steroid abuse is currently becoming rampant not only in the world of athletic sports but progressively more in high schools, colleges and even the workplace. Although anabolic steroids are available only through a doctor’s prescription, they are often regulated like narcotics. Illegal distribution of different types of steroids is prevalent in gyms, sports competitions, and mail operations after being smuggled into the country.
Steroids can also be obtained by users from illegal drug manufacturing laboratories and by smuggling from countries like Mexico and Europe as steroids can be purchased in these countries without a medical prescription. But the easiest way that anyone can get their hands-on steroids is through internet purchases, which often leaves innocent teens in danger.
The short-term effects of steroid abuse have been reasonably known. Nevertheless, it has only been these past recent years that researchers are able to identify the long-term complications of steroid use. As these studies are continually being conducted and abusers themselves present the various problems of the addiction as they age, it is worth noting that steroids do have continuing and dangerous side effects that are detrimental to the user’s health.
The following are some medical complications that can be brought about by steroid abuse:
HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B and C infections
One of the deadliest side effects of steroid abuse is the increased possibility of being infected by HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B or C. Many steroid users scoff at the idea that they may get infected and often times downsize the thought of getting these infections.
The sharing of non-sterile needles coupled with an increased sex drive or libido can put teens and young adults at risk, especially if they have poor decision-making skills and are easily influenced by peer pressure.
Liver problems and complications
Several studies have reported that many patients receiving long-term steroid treatments experience a condition called peliosis hepatitis, wherein normal liver and spleen tissue is replaced by blood-filled cysts. These cysts have also been linked to liver failure.
There have been reports of regression and disappearance of the cysts with discontinued steroid use. However, through the course the use, the cysts can develop into tumors, and eventually lead to liver cancer. Jaundice has also been associated with steroid abuse.
Steroids are known to increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and decrease HDL (good cholesterol) levels. This leads to high blood pressure and increased chances for blood clotting. High blood pressure results from salt and water retention in the body. Therefore, steroid users become more prone to stroke, premature heart conditions like infective endocarditis, and heart attack.
Increased muscle mass puts undue strain on the body, while there is also an increased demand for the heart to supply blood to more tissues and process greater amounts of bad cholesterol.
Musculoskeletal complications and injuries. Studies reveal that adolescents who use steroids are at risk of stunted growth. When the brain at puberty stage senses a certain amount of body hormone, it responds by sending signals to the bones to stop growing. As a result, the growth plates in the long bones tend to close prematurely.
Since one of the side effects of steroids is increased muscle mass and strength, too much strain is also placed on the ligaments and joints. This often leads to orthopedic conditions like tears in the ligaments and joint sprains.
Different types of steroids have been reported affect the brain’s neurologic pathways. Although the effect usually depends on the age when the steroids were taken, it can sometimes be permanent. Steroid abuse during teenage years can alter the brain’s ability to produce serotonin, an enzyme associated with our sense of well-being. This can lead to bouts of depression and aggression later in life.
In women, steroid use can significantly lower progesterone and estrogen levels and induces severe anxiety and depression disorders.
Other long-term side effects
Steroids may cause prostate cancer in men, kidney cancer, bacterial skin infections at the injection site and severe acne. Weight problems have also been noted in many steroid users.
How to Detect Steroid Abuse
Through simple steroid testing, the use of steroids can be detected, because they leave a “metabolic fingerprint,” which can be seen in both urine and blood tests. Below are some of the common ways to detect steroid abuse:
Since steroids are based on testosterone, the levels of this hormone can be tested in athletes or individuals. Those with an abnormally high testosterone count may be abusing androgenic steroids. Sometimes, testosterone precursors, such as epitestosterone, may also be tested.
The pitfall to hormonal testing, however, is that the levels of testosterone and epitestosterone vary from person to person. Asians, for instance, have lower levels of both testosterone and epitestosterone.
Androgenic Steroid Testing
Since they are derivatives of natural hormones, synthetic steroids can also be detected using blood or urine tests. This type of testing can be used in addition to hormonal testing. One disadvantage of androgenic steroid testing is that there are hundreds of types of steroid derivatives and testing for such can only detect a handful of types of synthetic steroids.
Normal testosterone has a different isotopic profile than synthetic steroids. Isotope testing, therefore, can detect the presence of steroids by examining the isotopes in samples. This is known to be the most accurate testing method for synthetic steroids. However, it is also the most expensive and it takes much longer to obtain the results.
Naturally, if steroids have been legally prescribed to patients, a false positive result will appear in all three tests. The only way to check for the abuse of steroids is to examine the individual’s history.
Because of the pressure to excel and win in competitions, more and more athletes are being tempted to improve athletic performance by taking illegal steroids. But through proper guidance and the right testing methods, this problem can be properly addressed and eradicated.
Steroids that are Commonly Tested
Laboratory testing for testosterone or any of its known metabolites may be done by antibody-based screening like ELISA. Liquid Chromatography can also be performed while TLC may help in low-cost preliminary analysis. GC/MS analysis may be used as a confirmatory test for validation purposes.
All of these tests can be done either on blood samples or urine samples or even on hair follicle samples. However, for periodic monitoring purposes, many rapid screening kits are available commercially for home use.
Here are some commonly used steroids that may be detected through testing:
It is a designer (i.e. structurally modified) anabolic androgenic steroid that is prohibited in sport. THG was developed via manipulation of another prohibited substance to illicitly enhance elite sports performance.
Boldenone Undecylenate (Equipoise)
It is a derivative of testosterone, which exhibits strong anabolic and moderately androgenic properties. The undecylenate ester greatly extends the activity of the drug. As with all steroids, this compound shows a marked ability for increasing red blood cell production. Equipoise is not a rapid mass builder but will provide a slow but steady gain of strength and quality muscle mass.
The most positive effects of this drug are seen when it is used for longer cycles, usually lasting at least 10 weeks in length. So, in recent years this compound has become a favorite among athletes. The side effects of Equipoise are generally mild.
It was designed as an extremely mild anabolic, one that could even be safely used as a growth stimulant in children. This steroid works well for the promotion of strength and duality muscle mass gains; although its mild nature makes it less than ideal for bulking purposes.
Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body and is responsible for the development of male reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics. Testosterone has been taken to enhance muscle development, strength, or endurance. They do so directly by increasing the muscles’ protein synthesis. As a result, muscle fibers become larger and repair faster than the average person.
It may cause increases in muscle bulk, mood change (aggression), hair loss, deepened voice, acne and infertility as the side effects.
The anabolic properties of this substance are still mild in comparison to many stronger compounds, but it is still considered by steroid users to be a reliable builder of muscle.
Structurally, clostebol is simply testosterone with an added chloro group at the 4-position. It is a synthetic androgenic steroid with anabolic effects that are frequently used in sports to increase physical performance. Because of medical and ethical reasons, the use of clostebol is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee.
It is a widely used bronchodilator in many parts of the world. In animal studies, clenbuterol is shown to exhibit anabolic activity, so it is obviously an attractive trait to the athlete. This compound is additionally a known thermogenic, with beta-2 agonists like clenbuterol shown to directly stimulate fat cells and accelerate the breakdown of triglycerides to form free fatty acids. Its efficacy makes it an attractive pre-contest drug.
It is the most abundant androgen (a male steroid hormone) secreted by the adrenal glands. Considerable interest in DHEA has developed in recent years with reports that it may play a role in the aging process. Circulating levels of DHEA peak at age 25 and then steadily decline with age.
Some researchers consider DHEA a possible anti-aging hormone because DHEA deficiencies in older individuals have been associated with a number of medical conditions including breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, impaired vision; population-based studies have suggested that people with higher DHEA levels tend to live longer, healthier lives than those with lower levels of DHEA.
Steroids may be detected through testing within specific detection windows, which may vary with the type of steroid testing used:
Steroid Urine Test
Urine drug tests can identify drugs together with metabolites. Metabolites are the after-effect substance from products back it has completed in your system. It is essential to know if you will pass or not in detecting the amounts of illegal metabolites in your urine.
Steroid urine testing is the most popular form of drug testing for steroid today. Often, anabolic steroid testing works by detecting the presence or absence of drugs or drug metabolites in human steroid test. This is a very reliable method for testing and is broadly used. The urine steroid drug test kits are easy to use and easy to read. No special training is required for steroid urine testing.
Anabolic steroid drug test in urine has a solid technology and have an extensive scientific base. The results are accurate of when having steroid screening in urine. Results are immediate and there is no need for a lab test or lab tech. They are easy to store and have a prolonged shelf life. Depending on the person's metabolism and the substance ingested, there is usually a 3-day to one-month detection window.
Steroid Saliva Test
The International Standard for Testing (IST) whose purpose is to plan for effective testing and to maintain the integrity and identity of samples, from notifying the athlete to transporting samples for analysis such drug tests are being preferred for their convenience nature, saliva tests have very short detection periods compared with other methods like to urine or serum-based tests.
Saliva steroid testing checks the presence or absence of drug metabolites in human saliva. Saliva drug test is a user-friendly and easy to collect. They work best for steroid screening very recent steroid use. Results come within minutes and there is no need for a lab. The saliva steroid testing disadvantage is the detection window. Depending on the rate of saliva production, and the type and density of the steroid used, the window varies from a few hours to at very most 3-4 days.
Steroid Hair Test
The anabolic steroid testing in hair is a method that hair samples are examined overuse of steroids. After a steroid is absorbed, it takes part in the bloodstream and divided to a specific metabolite. When a hair sample is evaluated, both the parent drug and the metabolite will be apart. Any indication that screen as possibly positive is proved using GC/MS technology (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry).
Hair anabolic steroid drug test method has the longest drug detection window (90 days standard test - using at least 1.5 inches of head hair). Body hair can reveal drug use for up to one year. This method is also very user-friendly. This test is very dependable and accurate. The disadvantage of this method is that you have to have a lab run the test and it can take a few extra days to get your test results.
Treatment for Steroid Abuse
The good news is that steroids abuse is curable. Some strategies can help users quit the drug and live a normal life again.
In-patient steroid abuse treatment programs offer 24-hour care with access to medical services whenever necessary so steroid users can receive the best and most professional care possible.
Most inpatient programs will start with a supervised detox period involving management of serious steroid withdrawal symptoms, which may vary from one person to another and may include the following:
Muscle and joint pain
Reduced sex drive
As depression with suicidal ideation is one of the immediately life-threatening symptoms of steroids abuse, an in-patient-program will keep track of changes in the mood of the patient. In case of severe depression symptoms, an in-patient program will provide close supervision and will use antidepressant medications and similar forms of treatment.
When the initial period of withdrawal is over, the treatment of substance abuse may involve ongoing therapy, which can also be done on an outpatient basis, in order to address any issues that trigger the abuse and addiction. The treatment will provide users with a wide range of benefits as it will help them improve self-esteem and will also help them love themselves and appreciate their bodies.
Studies have shown that some people use steroids due to their dissatisfaction with their body. In addition, they are also obsessed with having a muscular body or abnormally desire to get increasingly bigger.
Therapy sessions are designed to help patients cope with any triggers that can result to a relapse. Participating in adjunct therapy like yoga and meditation can also help patients in reducing stress and anxiety related to withdrawal.
There are also support groups that can help provide additional support for continued abstinence from steroids use.
Getting the right treatment is dependent on three factors:
The severity of steroid use
Abuse of other substances aside from steroids
The presence of other symptoms such as anxiety or depression
Aside from inpatient program, the following treatment methods are also being offered to overcome steroid abuse:
Doctor’s consultation. Your doctor may be able to address some concerns that you have about abstaining from steroids use and may refer you to other kinds of substance abuse treatment methods.
Outpatient program. Outpatient programs may require sessions a few times a week for about two hours. These programs may involve individual and group counseling, as well as management of withdrawal symptoms.
Rehabilitation program. There are live-in facilities that offer individual and group counseling and continuous medical supervision.
Steroids abuse can have serious consequences on the body if not treated right away. Immediate intervention is the key before everything becomes too late.