Illicit drugs aren’t the only ones that can cause significant withdrawal symptoms. Prescribed drugs such as steroids can put the user at significant risk and cause severe psychological withdrawal. Steroids are unlike most commonly abused drugs because most users aren’t looking for a high, they’re taking the drug to enhance their physical appearance. This means that the psychological risks of stopping steroid use are often much more serious than the physical ones, because depression and even suicidal thoughts can occur. Some individuals may also need to take steroids for medical reasons, but will still go through withdrawal when they stop taking them. In these cases, management of the physical symptoms of steroid detox is usually suitable.
Types of Steroids
There are two major types of steroids, corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are made in the adrenal gland, and play an important part in reducing inflammation. They may be prescribed in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, and aren’t ordinarily abused. Anabolic steroids are made naturally in the body to control testosterone production. They generally increase body mass, and are often taken by bodybuilders and athletes to boost their performance or appearance. They are much more commonly abused as a result, but they can be prescribed when the individual doesn’t produce enough hormones naturally. Stopping taking either type causes steroid withdrawal.
Physical Effects of Steroid Abuse
Although the major effects of anabolic steroids – the most commonly abused – are to increase muscle mass and generally masculinise appearance, there are also several negative physical effects. In men, anabolic steroids cause shrunken testicles, the development of breasts, baldness and acne. It also reduces the individual’s sperm count and can lead to infertility. In women, it can cause loss of breasts, growth of facial and body hair, deepening of the voice and hair loss. In either case, abuse generally results in a worse appearance overall, which presents unique issues during steroid detox. There are also serious physical risks to long-term use such as blood clots, high blood pressure, fluid retention and kidney or liver tumours.
Withdrawal Symptoms from Steroids
Both corticosteroids and anabolic steroids cause significant withdrawal symptoms. The main aim of steroid detox is to manage these and prevent physical harm, but the psychological elements cannot be overlooked. Steroid withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, low blood pressure, weakness, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting and joint pain. Psychologically, it can result in anger, mood swings, insomnia, restlessness, depression and suicidal thoughts. This is often exacerbated by the negative effects on appearance associated with anabolic steroid use. Anabolic steroid detoxification should therefore ideally be undertaken in a drug rehabilitation centre.
Steroid Detox Treatment
When steroids are prescribed, they will always be tapered off gradually, and this is beneficial in all steroid detox. It helps the body readjust to ordinary hormone production, and reduces the symptoms of steroid withdrawal. Medical supervision is often required in cases of steroid addiction, because of the potential physical risks of abusing the drug. However, for the aforementioned reasons, psychological treatment is extremely important during steroid withdrawal. Counselling helps individuals come to terms with the changes to their appearance and overcome their unhealthy obsession with maintaining an unrealistic physique.
If you or your loved one is abusing steroids, finding help during detox is absolutely essential. There are numerous medical and psychological risks that absolutely must be managed by professionals. We have a comprehensive knowledge of the different treatment centres located across the UK, and we can point you in the right direction for treatment. We’ll help you determine your requirements and talk you through your treatment options. Our advice is completely free, so pick up the phone today and see how we can help you!