Are you worried someone you care about is combatting steroid abuse?
Steroid abuse is an example of how a drug that is legal can be abused in an illegal fashion. Androgens and anabolic steroids are substances that a person may abuse in an attempt to appear more muscular and/or strong or enhance athletic performance. Doctors may prescribe anabolic steroids to treat the following conditions:
- delayed puberty in boys
- HIV-related weight loss
- hormonal imbalances
- impotence in men
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency has classified anabolic steroids as a Schedule III substance. This means that anabolic steroids are highly addictive and are abused in Florida and beyond. Some of the street or slang terms for anabolic steroids are juice, pumpers, andro, stackers, or gym candy. The following are some anabolic steroids facts that are important to know if a person or a loved one abuses these drugs.
Abuse of Steroid Symptoms
Because steroids alter the degrees of hormone production in the body, their abuse can cause symptoms that can be both short- and long-term. Examples of steroids symptoms include:
- Affected reproduction, such as no sperm in semen and shrinking testicles
- Changes in mood, such as aggression, depression, or suicidal thoughts
- Excess facial or body hair in women
- Hair loss
- Organ diseases, such as heart, kidney, or liver problems
- Severe acne
Steroid abuse can also lead to increased risk for diseases related to injecting steroids. If a person does not inject steroids in a sterile manner, they are at increased risk for bacterial and viral infections. These can include hepatitis as well as HIV.
Why Is Steroid Abuse So Dangerous?
A common misconception surrounding steroid abuse is that because the drugs are legal to prescribe, they aren’t dangerous. Also, a person may not see the danger in abusing them because they do not give off the same euphoria or high that people who abuse drugs like heroin or cocaine feel when they use them. However, steroid abuse is no less dangerous and/or deadly than abuse of street drugs.
While a doctor does prescribe steroids, the dosages are usually one-tenth or less of that a person that abuses steroids uses. Their abuse can lead to health side effects that include kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and depression symptoms that are so significant they lead to suicide.
Sports and Anabolic Steroids Facts
Anabolic steroids are prohibited for use by the World Anti-Doping Agency, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, International Olympic Committee, and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Because these steroids enhance athletic performance artificially, they are not allowed for use in sports. Examples of these steroids include testosterone, methyltestosterone, danazol, and oxandrolone. Athletes, “athletic trainers,” and coaches may all purchase these medications as a means to enhance their athletes’ performance. They may buy them online from other countries, gyms, or purchase them from so-called pharmacies that make them illegally. However, it can be difficult for a person to ensure they are safely making them. A person could be injecting harmful substances in addition to the anabolic steroids.
How Is Steroid Abuse Treated?
A person can be physically and mentally addicted to steroids. If they stop taking the medications suddenly, they can experience severe side effects, which include mood swings, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. For this reason, it is important that a person seek professional treatment for steroid abuse. Treatments can include medications to reduce painful withdrawal side effects as well as counseling to help a person navigate the symptoms of anxiety and depression that can occur as a result of steroid withdrawals.
If you have additional questions about anabolic steroids facts, please call our phone number at 1-800-429-7690 for more information on their abuse and recovery.