What are Steroids?
Steroids, in many cases, are used medically help people with certain health issues. Unfortunately, some types of steroids can be very damaging to your health. These are called anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs designed to imitate testosterone and build muscle. Anabolic-androgenic steroids are used by doctors to assist on the creation of muscle mass to help patient who are too weak to fight disease, and even to help young men induce puberty.
Unfortunately, anabolic steroid abuse is very common among athletes and body builders. These drugs come in pill form, as gels, creams or injectable liquids. Street names include stackers, hype, roids, and juice.
How are Steroids Abused?
There are certain specific ways that people abuse anabolic steroids. These include:
- Cycling: Abusing steroids by cycling them involves taking the drugs during a set period of time, about 6-12 weeks. Users will take multiple doses of steroids intermittently, on and off over the course of these weeks.
- Stacking: This form of abuse involves taking different types of steroids at one time. It can also involve mixing both injectable and oral forms of the drug. The idea behind stacking is that it increases results.
- Pyramiding: This form of abuse involves taking these drugs during a cycle. At the start of the cycle, users begin with a low dose and increase it steadily to the maximum dose when they reach the middle of the cycle. As the cycle continues, users decrease their dosage.
What are the Signs of Steroid Addiction?
Developing an addiction to anabolic steroids can be evident when the person begins to show signs of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms when they atop taking the drugs.
Other signs of anabolic steroid addiction include:
- Continuing to abuse steroids despite negative health effects
- Spending all your money and time getting and using steroids
- Abandoning responsibilities at home and work
- Isolating yourself from friends and family
- Experiencing severe depression when steroid use is discontinued
Anyone who abuses steroids for an extended period of time will eventually mess up the hormonal balance of their body. Steroid addiction causes deep depression when withdrawal sets in. Suicidal thoughts are common due to hormonal imbalance.
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Finding Treatment for Steroid Abuse and Addiction
Rehab programs are able to help patients deal with the detoxification period and the required therapy that they need. One of the main concerns with detox is the depression that occurs. This depression can be severe and require supervision. Other symptoms that are experienced during detox are headaches, insomnia, and pain in the muscles and joints. The patient may also be irritable during their detox. It is common for a patient to be given anti-depressants during this stage of treatment to counter feelings of suicide.
Therapy follows the initial detox period. Behavioral therapy has been found to be the most helpful form of treatment for most steroid addicts. Behavioral therapy is designed to help alter the patient’s behavior in a positive way by helping them through stressful situations. They are taught new and more positive coping skills, which will help them to remain abstinent and deal with the issues they face in a healthier and more productive manner.
During a patient’s time in rehab, they are taught relapse prevention skills. These are skills such as seeing negative behavior in themselves and dealing with it before it leads them to drug abuse. Support groups are an important part of relapse prevention and patients are advised to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings on a regular basis to assist their long-term recovery.
What is the Difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Programs?
Both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs can be successful in treating steroid addictions. Depending on the severity of the addiction and the withdrawal symptoms, a patient may be required to partake in an inpatient program. An inpatient residential treatment programs program has several benefits such as being monitored around-the-clock, being in a drug-free environment surrounded by caring people and being involved in various activities and therapies throughout the day, keeping the patient occupied. Medications can also be prescribed for depression and any other serious withdrawal symptoms the patient may be experiencing. Patients are usually not allowed to leave the rehab facility and visitors are only allowed during certain times of the day.
Outpatient drug rehab programs are better suited for people who feel that they can avoid relapse and just need some professional help to get through their addiction. Patients are required to come into rehab around five days a week for their treatment. Usually more cost effective, outpatient programs allows a person to keep their freedom to be able to attend work or school while still getting the best professional help they can get.