Did you even consider taking anabolic steroids to improve your fitness level? Well, don’t do it. Here is why you should avoid them.
Sport can be frustrating. Reaching the desired level of physical fitness, gaining muscle or finally getting that six-pack, all require serious dedication and hours of painful workouts.
So it’s not surprising that some people want to improve their results with chemicals.
In this article, we’ll examine why it’s not the best approach to exercising.
What Are Steroids And How Do They Work?
Steroids are synthetic drugs that resemble certain hormones that your body produces naturally.
There are corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids.
Corticosteroids are widely used to treat various allergies, rashes, and other inflammatory disorders.
Anabolic steroids mimic the effects of the male sex hormone testosterone by promoting muscle growth and the development of male sexual characteristics.
Anabolic steroids are sometimes prescribed to treat:
- Delayed puberty;
- Muscle loss due to some diseases like cancer, HIV, or diabetes;
- And medical conditions associated with low levels of testosterone in men.
Muscles get stronger through a repeated process of destruction and healing.
If you’re not used to be walking long distances regularly, covering 20 km in a day will result in soreness the next morning, since your muscles are not strong enough for this level of physical activity.
However, if you continue exercising, your body will eventually learn that your current physical state is not optimal for keeping you safe, and your muscles will adapt to the load.
Steroids quicken the healing process, thus allowing you to exercise harder and gain greater results in shorter periods of time.
In addition to building muscle, steroids boost confidence and make people feel more powerful and aggressive.
This is why steroid medications are often abused by athletes, bodybuilders, professional fighters, and simply those who wish to look more attractive.
For some, it’s the pressure to stay competitive and strong to thrive in their field, others chase their desired physical appearance.
And while the medical use of steroids is beneficial, relying on them for getting fit may be detrimental to health.
Addiction To Steroids
Steroids don’t produce euphoria like typical drugs, though there is still a high risk of addiction among those who abuse them regularly.
Steroid users start spending inadequate amounts of money on the drugs, and frequently develop depression or anxiety about missing workouts and losing muscle mass, which in its turn can sometimes lead to steroid overdose.
If not attended to on early stages, steroid addiction may force a person to consult drug rehab facilities (Addiction Resource provides a guide on it) and receive appropriate treatment.
Effects Of Steroid Abuse
Although steroids’ side effects vary by sex and age of a person, some common ones include:
- Oily skin;
- Mood swings;
- Increased risk of liver disease and heart attacks.
As it is shown in research by the National Institutes of Health, excessive testosterone converts to estrogen, which is a primary female sex hormone.
So men can suffer the following conditions:
- Developing breasts;
- Shrinking of testicles;
- Getting painful erections;
- Having decreased sperm count and becoming impotent or infertile.
Women, on the other hand, may display signs of masculinization, specifically:
- Growing facial hair;
- Deepening of the voice;
- Enlarged clitoris;
- Irregularities in a menstrual cycle.
Dramatic changes in hormone levels always affect a person’s mental state, making steroid withdrawal especially rough psychologically.
People who abuse anabolic steroids and quit abruptly will experience various withdrawal symptoms like with any other addictive substance. Most common of them include:
- Rapid emotional shifts and mood swings;
- Restlessness or weakness;
- Abdominal pain;
- Nausea and diarrhea;
- Loss of appetite;
- Depression or anxiety;
- Decreased sex drive.
Depression and anxiety are particularly dangerous, as they can easily escalate and lead to suicide attempts.
In some cases, hospitalization becomes necessary to prevent possibly fatal outcomes and to treat both addiction and mental illness simultaneously.
Relation To Other Drugs And Substances
Some steroid users counter the lack of energy and eating disorders resulting from the abuse of drugs like cocaine. Such mix of stimulants and steroids puts significant stress on the heart and worsens the addiction.
In drug users, steroids can reduce the pleasurable effects of the abused substances, hence forcing people to take higher doses than they normally would and risk overdose.
Abusing alcohol along with steroid addiction is another major issue. The combination of these substances leads people to experience excessive aggression, be more violent and unstable, and make it harder for them to break harmful habits.
In this case, professional help may be required. Since there are two different conditions to treat, it makes sense to address both drug rehab centers and alcohol addiction rehab to increase the chance of full recovery.
Enrolling in rehab ensures that patients receive correct medications to facilitate detox and ease withdrawal symptoms, as well as overcome psychological dependence and possible depression, and learn to live without steroids.
Are Anabolic Steroids Legal?
It is illegal to store or distribute anabolic steroids without a prescription.
The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that possession of illicitly obtained steroids is penalized by one year of prison and a minimum of $1,000 fine if this is an individual’s first drug offense.
The maximum penalty for trafficking is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if this is the first felony drug offense, and both values are doubled if this is the second offense.
In addition, even if a certain steroid substance is legal, it may still be banned by some athletic associations.
Simply put, if you are not prescribed steroids, you shouldn’t use them at all.
They bring short-term benefits by improving your physique and giving you a sense of confidence and strength. However, they vanish as soon as you stop taking steroids.
This and the physical effects hormones have on your body can lead to severe depression and cravings for the drug.
Like with any addiction, it’s not easy to fight it on your own.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that many people don’t treat steroids as addictive substances and don’t seek help early enough.
If you consider getting treatment but don’t know where to start, services like Drug Rehab Near Me provide a catalog of addiction treatment centers, allowing you to find a clinic that suits your location and needs.