Are Steroids Addictive?

Are Steroids Addictive?

All too frequently we hear stories in the news of athletes whose accolades have been taken from them because of steroid use. Their fall from grace becomes food for the hungry vultures of the American population, eager to read about their failures on the front page of newspapers.

Anabolic steroids are substances, taken either orally or intravenously, that mimic testosterone. While they have serious, sometimes long-lasting health effects, they are taken sometimes by athletes looking to bulk up or enhance performance.

Addictive Or No?

The issue has been widely debated. Steroids are very dangerous drugs, and should not be taken recreationally. When used in excess, they can cause psychiatric and behavior problems, usually interfering with the brain's healthy processing of a hormone called vasopressin. The heavy use of steroids can lead to increased aggression, which can manifest as erratic yelling, physical assault, sexual assault and dangerous behavior, like committing crimes and driving at high speeds. The mental ramifications include irritability, a lack of connection with reality, violent mood swings and jealousy.

When used in moderation, anabolic steroids can be used to treat AIDS patients, teens struggling with the delayed onset of puberty, impotence, and other health concerns resulting from the body not producing sufficient levels of testosterone. But the quantities used for these purposes is substantially less than the quantities used by athletes, and others intended to increase their muscle size and performance, like ten to one hundred times less.

Due to the superficially attractive quality of enhancing performance and physique, anabolic steroid abuse is becoming increasingly more common among adolescents and even women. The race to the top of the physical competition becomes increasingly more important and pressing, as one continues to use steroids inappropriately over time. Combining oral and injectable steroids to produce the most accumulative result possible, steroid users become addicted to the rush of the feedback related to the transformation in their body.

Signs Of Addiction

Steroid use is addictive, although exact numbers have not been pinpointed from a research perspective. Addiction can be seen when users continue leaning on the drugs, despite effects on their social lives and increased physical side effects. The body can become accustomed to the drug, although using steroids does not have the same high and low effect ignited by other drugs.

Preventing Steroid Use

Unfortunately the short-term benefits of stopping steroid use may be tough to see at face value. Depression is a common side effect of steroid withdrawal, and often the depressive tendencies can last for months after one quits using the drugs. Withdrawal symptoms can even be as severe as suicide attempts. Due to this possibility of depression, one may continue to take the drug, which lends itself to the addictive behaviors. 

Preventing steroid use before it starts is a must. Spreading awareness about the drastic risks of steroid use is essential, as is educating teenagers about how to leverage proper nutrition and healthy strength training exercises to support their physical objectives.

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