Steroid addiction: The modern athlete’s disease
No matter what you call them, are synthetic drugs that mimic the male sex hormone testosterone. Steroids also consist of estrogen and cortisone hormones. But when does use become abuse?
And if you want to stay in shape or improve physical appearance, will regular use lead to addition?
We’ll review signs of steroid addiction here. Then, we’ll talk about best treatment practices for people who are facing addiction….and let you know what you can expect during your addiction treatment process. More here, with a section at the end for your questions.
Addicted to steroids?
Help is available just a phone call away!
To find out more, CALL 1-877-736-5384 day or night.
We’re here to talk and help you find a solution.
Are Steroid Addictive?
Steroids are not considered intoxicating. However, according to studies, the chronic use of steroids affects dopamine reward pathways similarly as other addictive substances.
Steroids are mostly abused by male adolescents who want to improve athletic performance and/or physical appearance, helping them build muscles and speed up development. So, it’s not much of a surprise that 80% of steroid addicts were recently reported to be men. Women are less affected by this disease since they are primarily interested in losing, rather than gaining weight.
Medically, steroids are prescribed by doctors to manage health conditions such as:
- delayed puberty
- growth hormone steroid
- loss of muscle
- men hormone imbalances
- specific forms of anemia
Signs of addiction to steroids
How can you recognize steroid addiction? Steroid addiction is a chronic disorder, just as any other. So, diagnosis is based around key psychological signs:
- loss of control when using
- inability to quit despite negative consequences
- obsessive, drug craving thoughts
Addiction to steroids can also be detected by some key physical traits. It is usually characterized by the following physical signs:
- enlarged breasts
- rapid weight/muscle gain
- women’s facial hair growth
Have you noticed any of these signs in your physical appearance and/or your behavior? If you think you’ve developed an addiction to steroids, know this: Addiction is a medical condition that responds to medical treatment. Help is out there.
Do not worry. We can guide you through the process of recovery safely. Call 1-877-736-5384. Our addiction recovery specialists will walk you through treatment options step-by-step.
Safely Breaking Free From Steroid Addiction
You may believe that steroids are helping you feel better, making you look better…but they are only doing this on a short term basis…and at a high price. Steroid addiction slowly takes away your focus from other enjoyable things in life. Gradually, a regular habit can turns towards obsessive seeking and compulsive using. And it can make you miserable, lonely, and hopeless in the process.
Let’s get real for a moment.
If you’re ready to quit…keep reading. If not, there’s nothing anyone can say or do to force you to get better. Addiction treatment is a process that starts from the inside-out. If you’re not ready to stop denying the presence of a major problem, no treatment in the world will help.
But if you are open to trying new ways of doing things…addiction treatment can be effective. It can help turn your life around so that you fulfilled and satisfied. In fact, addiction recovery starts when you express readiness to change unhealthy habits.
However, in order to get rid of compulsive steroid use for good, professional addiction treatment is required. Learn more about steroid rehab programs and explore your treatment options by calling us at 1-877-736-5384.
Should You Fear Withdrawal?
No, but you should ALWAYS seek medical supervision when you are detoxing from steroids.
Withdrawal symptoms usually appear when steroids are suddenly stopped after long-term use. The following symptoms and signs may occur during withdrawal from steroids:
- abdominal pain
- decreased appetite
- dizziness or fainting
- low blood pressure (hypotension)
- low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
- menstrual changes
- weight loss
NOTE: It is not advised that you stop steroid abruptly, or by yourself. Tapering steroids gives the adrenal glands time to return to their normal patterns of secretion. Tapering regimes should always be done in accordance with a doctor’s supervision.
The severity and duration of steroid withdrawal is influenced by:
- average amount of steroids used daily
- genetic makeup
- length of time abusing steroids
- level of steroid dependency
- method of abuse (injecting, or swallowing)
Get steroid withdrawal help today! Call 1-877-736-5384 to get the confidential guidance you need. Don’t let another day pass without treatment.
The Importance of an Individualized Plan
Q: How can you maximize your addiction treatment outcomes?
A: Find out what you need/want/expect from treatment and discuss it with a counselor.
There is no a single steroid treatment solution that will work for everyone. On the contrary, addiction affects, develops, and progresses differently for each individual. Therefore, it’s best to choose the perfect mix of therapies tailor selected just for you and find a reputable treatment program that can help you achieve sobriety. We can help you do this. Call 1-877-736-5384 to end your struggles with steroid abuse.
An individualized treatment plan should be based on the following criteria:
1. It should put your welfare first.This means that treatment modalities should be matched to people and not the other way round. The purpose is to find the approach that best suits your specific case and then grow into new options as they become available.
2. It should put your interests first, as well. Treatment can include traditional talk therapy, as well as alternative therapies…based on your interest. Why not incorporate art or animals into the treatment process? How about exercise, nutrition, or life skills training? Your preferences should be taken into consideration when a personalised treatment plan is designed.
3. It should address your largest needs. Individualized care is based on looking beyond substance use problems and connecting a person with needed services. So, if you need education on body anatomy or the physical effects of steroid…that need should be addressed in treatment.
Types of Addiction Treatment
When looking for a treatment program, you have the following treatment modalities to choose from:
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab Treatment
Whether an individual chooses an inpatient or outpatient program will depend on his/her own circumstances. Other factors that influence a person’s decision for residential or outpatient treatment include:
- employment status
- mental and medical health history
- severity of addiction
- support system (family and loved ones relations)
Inpatient (residential) treatment
This type of treatment is highly recommended for individuals who:
- Are surrounded by high stressors and triggers in their environment.
- Have low or no recovery support.
- Have a history of chronic steroid abuse and have previous failed treatment attempts.
Outpatient (non-residential) treatment centers
This type of treatment is best suitable for those:
- With less severe steroid addiction,
- Who are unable to stop working or attending school
- With family obligations
However, the effectiveness of these programs can be limited, especially if you require medical and psychological recovery services.
Program lengths (30-60-90 days)
The average minimum time spent in addiction treatment is 30 days. However, 60 and 90 day programs offer significantly higher success rates as they allow more time for physical and psychological stabilization, therapy, and education.
Therapies and amenities included in your treatment
Addiction programs usually offer a combination of evidence-based therapy protocols and alternative holistic options. Main therapy is talk therapy. When applied together with up-and-coming options, these modalities can maximize your chances of successful recovery and long-lasting sobriety.
Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
Each person uses steroids for different reasons. Moreover, addiction is often accompanied by mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Psychotherapy and counselling can help you learn to deal with both. This is why addiction treatment should be integrated. An integrated treatment plan should include the following:
- Education about steroids interaction with mental illness.
- Examination of the role of steroids in the addict’s life.
- Individual or group, counselling for co-occurring disorders.
- Relapse prevention training.
Calling our hotline: What can you expect?
When you CALL 1-877-736-5384, friendly, understanding, and supportive helpline staff will listen to your concerns. They’ll also help explain the types of treatments we offer that might help you recover. We’ll work to get you the help you need. Our round-the-clock drug hotline is:
TIP #1. Be honest about your steroid abuse, the problems this addiction is causing you, and your readiness to accept help.
TIP #2. Be open about your treatment goals and ask questions until you understand the process and have enough information to make a good decision.
TIP #3. Disclose any drinking problems or use other drugs. Co-addictions are common. We do not judge you, as we understand that addiction is a medical condition.
The 4 Main Phases Of Treatment
Phase 1: Identification of a problem
Those who need treatment for managing any type of drug problem might think they do not need a treatment program at all. Some people cannot even see that their steroid abuse is causing them problems. This is when family can encourage the addicted individual to seek formal help. Addiction care usually begins when a person seeks health care. The general goals of this phase aim to:
- keep you in contact with a medical contact
- reduce the risk of illness or harm
- increase your motivation for change
- facilitate access to detox, if necessary
Phase 2: Stabilization
Given the range of severity of steroid addiction’s effects on your health, social, and psychological functioning, it is first necessary that any traces of steroids are removed from your system. This procedure is also known as “detoxification”. The main purpose of detox is to stabilize your condition and prepare you for further treatment. Because of possible complications and health risks that might occur during this procedure, it’s highly recommended that you seek the help of medical experts who are trained and have the knowledge to guide you safely through it. Our team is available 24/7/365 to help you find and locate a detox center or treatment facility. Just call 1-877-736-5384.
Phase 3: Rehabilitation
The main goal of this phase is to change behaviors. Instead of seeking steroids to enhance self-esteem, you’ll learn how to cope without them. However, most people have a broader range of needs and problems. During this phase you and your counselor will make a problem list, negotiate and clarify goals for change, and agree upon a realistic and achievable treatment plan. After this, you’ll do the inner work of change and self-acceptance.
Phase 4: Maintenance
The real challenge in recovery from steroid addiction is not making the initial change so much as maintaining it. All chronic illnesses – including addiction – require ongoing care and monitoring. Recovery does not end once you finish a treatment program.
Aftercare services usually include:
- 12-Step meetings
- Education on recognizing and avoiding triggers
- Family involvement and participation
- Regular drug testing
- Regular visits to a counselor’s office
- Relapse prevention training
Now that you familiar with the phases of steroid addiction treatment, you know what you can expect! In fact, most rehabs are structured the same. Days are planned around mealtimes, individual and group counselling, as well as exercise or educational sessions.
REMEMBER: Our hotline at 1-877-736-5384 can help you get your life back on track. Staff are trained to listen and speak with you…not at you. We understand addiction. Live a steroid-free life, starting today!
What Types of Co-occurring Disorders Exist With Steroids?
People with steroid addiction problems commonly have other significant psychological, medical, social problems. These problems are expected. And the resolution of these problems has an equal importance as the primary disease of addiction.
Medical professionals no longer treat steroid addiction in isolation from other concerns. Additionally, they are aware that people diagnosed with steroid addiction are most likely to seek help for other related problems, before they turn to a specialist treatment for drug problems.
One of the most common underlying reasons why people turn to steroids is because they are self-medicating issues such as:
- Bipolar Disorder
- A behavioral syndrome called “Muscle Dysmorphia”
- Eating disorders
- Lack of self-esteem
- Mood disorders (mania, depression, social anxiety)
When steroid addiction is causing mental health problems, then it is a part of a dual diagnosis and an appropriate treatment program is required. Learn more about these types of programs by calling us at 1-877-736-5384.
Steroid use disorders are highly treatable. And most people who seek treatment have recovered. The following therapies are used in rehabs and can benefit you DURING and AFTER formal treatment.
Medication. When you check into a rehab, doctors will assess underlying mental health issues. They often use medication to address brain imbalances and help you stabilize as you are working with a counselor.
Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT). This type of therapy helps address and minimize self-harming behaviors that often accompany mental health conditions and steroid use disorders.
Integrated Group Therapy (IGT). Treats the symptoms of both steroid addiction and mental health problems in a group setting.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Works to minimize problematic beliefs and behaviors and develop healthier thinking and patterns to sustain sobriety.
Individual Psychotherapy. This type of therapy treats behaviors related to steroid abuse and/or particular behavioral or mental health problems.
Does this sound like the type of treatment you are looking for? We are available at 1-877-736-5384 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you need help finding a treatment program for your steroid addiction. Start living the life that you deserve…today!
How to Help a Loved one with Steroid Addiction
Denial is a common personality trait among steroid addicts. Individuals struggling with steroid addiction find it difficult to admit the problem primarily to themselves…. and then to friends or family.
What prevents steroid addicts from looking for help? The reasons are different, but some common reasons may include:
- fear of talking to someone about addiction
- misbelieve there is an addiction problem at all
Denial can be a huge problem when approaching a steroid addicted loved one. Addicts are usually unaware of their actions and have no clue about the consequences their actions have on other family members. Don’t take denial or rejection from your addicted loved one personally.
KEEP THIS IN MIND: “An addict desperately need your help”.
7 Steps to help a steroid addicted loved one
1. Educate yourself about the dangers of steroid abuse. Learn how these drugs affect the body and what steroid addiction is like.
2. Find support. Don’t try to handle thing by yourself. Instead seek help from trusted medical professionals, including pscyhotherapists, doctors, or psychiatrists.
3. Try to confront your loved one when he/she is not engaging in compulsive behaviors.
4. Choose your words wisely. Try to be as caring as possible so as to not risk offending the user.
5. Use examples during the conversation. Tell the negative impacts steroids have on people, such as physically, mood/behavioral damage.
6. Offer help. Be prepared with treatment options in advance if your loved one agrees to accept treating his/her addiction problem.
7. Set limits and take care of yourself. Let your addicted loved one know you will no longer put yourself in a position that enables his/her behavior.
For more information on helping a steroid addicted loved one CALL US NOW 1-877-736-5384. We can assess and evaluate your loved one’s problem. Questions we typically ask include:
Which substance/drug does the person abuse?
What other substances do you think your loved one is (ab)using?
How do they abuse steroids (orally or injecting)?
How long do you suspect they have been using steroids?
How long they’ve been showing signs of addiction?
What’s the financial situation at home? What about payment?
Does the addicted individual suffer from any mental, behavioral, or co-occurring disorders?
Ongoing Treatment and Relapse Prevention
When formal treatment programs are complete, you should receive a comprehensive aftercare plan that will help you stay clean. Treatment centers usually provide continuing care and support through three main points of contact:
- Alumni support meetings
- Peer support groups
- Touch-up counselling
Sometimes, the skills and strategies needed for successful maintenance are different from those that worked to get you sober in the first place. This is why relapse prevention coaching can always be part of your discharge process. Here are some relapse prevention strategies for steroid addiction:
STRATEGY #1 Mutual Help Groups.
These groups are an excellent resource for maintaining sobriety. Those who stick with 12 Step meetings after treatment attend at least two meetings a week and show best results.
STRATEGY #2 Maintenance Medications.
Some medications are designed specifically to help you avoid steroids. A general strategy of treatment programs is to transfer you from your previously preferred drug (steroids) to the maintenance medication. Then, the maintenance medication is gradually tapered over time. Some meds for treating steroid withdrawal restore hormonal balance after its disruption by steroid abuse. Others target specific withdrawal symptoms such as antidepressants and analgesics that manage headaches and muscle pains.
STRATEGY #3 Self- Monitoring
Use self-monitoring as an early warning system. Keep a daily record, particularly for the first few months of sobriety. This can prevent renewed steroid abuse problems. You may call your doctor if you feel any kind of mood disturbances for two days in a row. Another target for daily monitoring would be keeping track of cravings and urges. Identify anything that could signal a drift toward your prior patterns of steroid abuse and consult your counsellor about how to handle these situation and what’s more important how to prevent them from repeating.
These elements will help you stay involved with the sobriety community, and prompt you to continue to work on your recovery, so you don’t slip back into the same destructive habits again.
If you are ready to find your way to recovery and start building a steroid-free life today, don’t wait! Call 1-877-736-5384.