Are There Withdrawals from Steroid Addiction?

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When you think of steroid use, you may get a mental picture of the gym or a muscle bound athlete. This is not always the case. Steroids can be prescribed by a medical doctor for various health issues.

Steroid abuse does have long term consequences, and you can experience withdrawals. If you are taking steroids, don’t stop abruptly without consulting with your doctor about detoxing or tapering down.

Anabolic steroids are used to treat some bone and blood illnesses. Steroids are also prescribed for young men who have a delayed onset of puberty caused by certain medical issues. An unfortunate side effect of steroids is that they make muscles grow faster. This side effect is beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders, but it comes at a high price.

Steroids work by blocking the breakdown of muscles. This allows an athlete to bulk up and perform without feeling fatigued. Steroids are illegal for recreational use and professional athletic associations have banned players from using them.

Steroids have many potential side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and long term use can impair natural hormones in the body. Withdrawal symptoms of steroid use can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Low blood sugar

Taking steroids can change your personality and cause other side effects. Side effects of steroids are:

  • Extreme mood swings i.e. aggression
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • In females, fertility and menstrual problems
  • In males, testicular problems
  • Depression
  • Homicidal or suicidal ideation

If you have been taking steroids, remember, you cannot stop taking them without first consulting with your doctor. Long term use of steroids can change testosterone levels in females. Long term use in females can cause infertility, excess hair growth, voice changes, and increased risk for breast cancer. Long term steroid use in males can cause decreased sperm count, impotence, development of breasts, and enlarged prostate. The earlier your doctor is aware of your steroid use, the faster they can help you and prevent long term complications.

Withdrawal from steroids can only be done with a medical professional’s assistance. Your physician may recommended reducing steroid use to every other day until fully tapered down. Tapering off of the medication can prevent changes in your adrenal gland, therefore increasing your chance at full recovery.

If you are prescribed steroids, talk to your medical provider about any concerns that you have. Be aware of withdrawal symptoms. If you notice any changes in mood, body, and irritation or aggression, you may be experiencing withdrawal from steroids. Don’t be discouraged, there is help available.

The Kimberly Center offers the best in partial care programming for the treatment of addictions and co-occurring disorders. Providing a variety of treatment services with love and compassion, our clinical team serves to help clients heal mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: 855-4-KCENTER

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