Steroids can be split into corticosteroids and anabolic steroids, and the latter group is the most commonly abused and often requires in-patient steroid rehab treatment. This is because of their similarity to testosterone, the male hormone. They are usually swallowed as a tablet or injected as a solution, and are generally taken with the aim of building muscles. Drug rehab centres are primarily concerned with guiding detoxification and helping the user overcome addiction with counselling.
Steroids differ from most drugs because they aren’t taken in a strictly recreational sense. They are usually abused by bodybuilders or people concerned about their body image for their muscle-building effects. This means that users’ instability with regards to their appearance or athletic performance drives their usage, and presents drug rehab counsellors with a different set of issues. It also means that excessively large doses are common, with some being 100 times the normal medical dose.
The effects of steroids are related to their similarity to testosterone. They essentially cause many of the bodily changes teenage boys go through in adolescence. This includes increasing bone density and promoting muscle growth. They help bodybuilders and athletes recover more quickly from training sessions, and generally improve performance. They also have psychological effects, inducing irritability, aggression, paranoia, and famously causing “roid rage,” characterised by violent episodes.
Doctors prescribe steroids for a variety of reasons, and they weren’t previously regarded as addictive. However, one of the major markers for addiction is withdrawal symptoms, which long term steroid abusers do have. When they stop taking the drug, users experience mood swings, restlessness, irritability, and sometimes depression and suicidal thoughts. This combination of factors usually drives the individual back to drugs, which compounds the problem.
The serious risks associated with steroid use mean that drug rehab should be a serious consideration for anybody struggling to get clean. The drug can cause the heart to grow, increase blood pressure and induce heart attacks and strokes in otherwise healthy users. The constant bombardment of chemicals can also give users liver failure. Ironically, long term steroid use can also negatively affect physical appearance. Men can get shrunken testicles, thinning hair and even grow breasts. Women can grow facial hair, lose hair from their scalp and develop a deeper voice. In young people, it can do lasting damage to bone growth.
Drug rehab centres are primarily concerned with the psychological effects of withdrawal and the factors which drove the person to use steroids in the first place. During the long process of withdrawal, the user struggles with the new changes in their body image and their gender identity. This is usually the cause of depression or suicidal thoughts, because most steroid users are extremely concerned with their body image. Counsellors in drug rehab centres work throughout withdrawal to provide support and afterwards to alter the values which originally lead them to steroids. This is a difficult process and often involves challenging some well-entrenched views.
If you or a loved one is struggling with steroid addiction, withdrawal shouldn’t be attempted without the help of a drug rehab program. Steroids are unusual amongst drugs and counsellors have to deal with deeper issues than with somebody simply looking for a high. We have a detailed knowledge of the different drug rehab facilities available, and which ones are most suited for steroid addiction. If you’re struggling to choose between eligible centres and the different therapeutic models they employ, we are here to offer free advice. The potentially serious consequences of steroid addiction mean that making the right choice is extremely important. Get in touch with us for a free referral to the most suitable drug rehab centre for your needs!