Understanding Drug Use and Addiction. Yellow skin Yellowing of the whites of the eyes Pale colored stools Dark urine Itchy skin Vomiting Nausea Rectal bleeding Treatment of jaundice is focused on the disease or condition that is causing jaundice. Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympic athlete has reportedly been tested for steroids after the banned drug was found at the home where he is accused of murdering his girlfriend. All too frequently we hear stories in the news of athletes whose accolades have been taken from them because of steroid use. Like alcohol or street drugs, the common signs of addiction may develop with the use of steroids. Anabolic steroids can increase bone production, especially in the skull and face.
Steroids and Addiction
Psychiatric and psychological complications include manic behavior and psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions. Addiction and Other Mental Disorders. Stacking is thought to produce a greater effect on muscle size than could be obtained by simply increasing the dose of a single drug. Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and is taken orally, intra-nasally snorting the powder , by needle injection, or by smoking. Life-threatening side effects include heart attack and stroke , the risk of forming blood clots deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus , liver cancer , and liver failure. In the second half of the cycle, the doses are slowly decreased to zero.
By enhancing certain types of performance or appearance anabolic steroid abuse is increasing in adolescents and most rapidly among females. Anabolic steroids are legally available only on prescription and for the illegal market are manufactured in illegal laboratories poor quality , smuggled in from other countries or stolen from hospitals and pharmacies.
One of the hallmarks of addiction is an inability to control drug intake and anabolic steroid abuse is no exception to this. Stacking is thought to produce a greater effect on muscle size than could be obtained by simply increasing the dose of a single drug. In a separate procedure called pyramiding at the beginning of a cycle, the abuser starts with low doses of the stacked substances — gradually increasing the doses for 6 to 12 weeks. In the second half of the cycle, the doses are slowly decreased to zero.
This is followed by a second cycle during which the person continues to train, but without drugs. Most adolescents already know that anabolic steroids build muscles and can increase athletic prowess and a failure to acknowledge these potential benefits creates a credibility problem and can actually make youths more likely to try the drugs.
Abuse of anabolic steroids differs from the abuse of other illegal drugs because the initial use of anabolic steroids is not driven by the immediate euphoria that accompanies most drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol and marijuana, but by the desire of the abuser to change their appearance and performance, characteristics of great importance to adolescents and young adults.
Health food supplements such as dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA and androsterone street name Andro are not anabolic steroids. Abusers use two ways of maximizing the effect of the drug on muscle growth — stacking and pyramiding.
Individuals who abuse steroids can experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms up to one year , the most dangerous of which is depression, because it sometimes leads to suicide attempts.
A key lesson to be taken from this appalling tragedy is the importance of encouraging youths to avoid anabolic steroid abuse. However, most adolescents already know that anabolic steroids build muscles and can increase athletic prowess and a failure to acknowledge these potential benefits creates a credibility problem and can actually make youths more likely to try the drugs. Probably the most important lesson to be taken from this appalling tragedy is the realization that the stresses of life and how we manage them IS the difference between life and death.
We also need to support research that increases our understanding of the impact of steroid abuse and improve our ability to prevent abuse of these drugs, but also promote other healthy behaviours and attitudes. February 20, February 20, The upside of anabolic steroids Anabolic steroids are powerful body-building drugs. There is also the perception that other athletes are abusing steroids and gaining an unfair advantage. People who use steroids to enhance their appearance by increasing muscle and decreasing fat may suffer from muscle dysmorphia or abnormal perception of their own body.
Males may think that they are perpetually too small and weak, and females may think themselves fat, even though that perception may not be actually true. Bodybuilders and weight lifters are not the only athletes to think that anabolic steroid use is their road to success. Athletes, from strength sports like football and throwing the discus to speed sports like track sprinters and speed skaters, have attempted to use steroids to enhance performance and increase the efficiency of their training.
How do people abuse anabolic steroids? Though most anabolic steroids need to be injected into the body to be effective, some may be taken by mouth and others used as a cream or gel and applied to the skin. The user will try to take enough anabolic steroid to increase the ability to exercise and allow muscles to grow while minimizing the risk of side effects and the potential of being caught.
Usually steroids are taken in cycles with regular injections followed by periods of rest. Numerous books and web sites discuss the benefits and risks of different techniques to maximize the effect of a variety of steroids on the body.
There is a large underground illegal industry that has grown to meet the demand for anabolic steroids and also provides methods to try to avoid detection. Cycling , stacking, and pyramiding are three common ways that anabolic steroid abusers take their drugs. Cycling refers to taking a steroid for a period of time, stopping for the body to rest, and then restarting again.
If more than one type of steroid is used at a time, this is called stacking. There is the belief that using two or more steroids at a time increases the effectiveness of each. Pyramiding combines the cycling and stacking. One or more steroids are begun in a low dose and the dose gradually increased until halfway through the cycle where the amount is maximized and it is then tapered to zero by the end of the cycle.
Exercise programs are tailored so that more can be done as the effect of the steroid increases. The cycles of steroid use are usually six to 12 weeks long and may be followed by a rest period.
In athletes who use anabolic steroids, a cat and mouse game exists. They try to time their steroid injections so that the drug is out of their system if and when they are drug tested.
Sometimes masking drugs are also taken to try to "beat" the test by making the test negative. Designer steroids are being continually developed to again prevent their use from being detected. Are anabolic steroids addictive? What are the symptoms and signs of anabolic steroid abuse?
Like alcohol or street drugs, the common signs of addiction may develop with the use of steroids. These include drug cravings, requiring more drug to get the same effect, and withdrawal symptoms should the drug be stopped. The following is a statement from the National Institute of Drug Abuse concerning anabolic steroids:. Also, steroid abusers typically spend large amounts of time and money obtaining the drugs, which is another indication that they may be addicted.
Individuals who abuse steroids can experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking steroids, such as mood swings , fatigue , restlessness, loss of appetite , insomnia , reduced sex drive, and steroid cravings.
The most dangerous of the withdrawal symptoms is depression , because it sometimes leads to suicide attempts. If left untreated, some depressive symptoms associated with anabolic steroid withdrawal have been known to persist for a year or more after the abuser stops taking the drugs. What are the psychological and physical side effects of anabolic steroid abuse? Anabolic steroids are used as performance-enhancing drugs to increase the ability to do work and exercise by abnormally stimulating muscle growth, power, and aerobic capacity.
This increased function comes with a cost of potentially life-threatening side effects. The complications of anabolic steroid abuse are a result of excess testosterone affecting almost all the organ systems in the body. Some of the effects are reversible and decrease when the drug abuse stops while others are permanent and irreversible. In males, the excess steroid suppresses the normal testosterone production in the body.
This can lead to shrunken testicles and decreased sperm count, baldness , and breast development gynecomastia. In females, anabolic steroid abuse can lead to masculinization with loss of body fat and breast size, swelling of the clitoris which may be permanent and not resolve, even when the use of steroids is stopped , deepening of the voice, and the development of facial and body hair.
Life-threatening side effects include heart attack and stroke , the risk of forming blood clots deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus , liver cancer , and liver failure.
The skin is often affected by excess steroid use and the issues are similar to the adolescent male going through puberty with its testosterone spike. Hair can become oily. Acne is often present. Acne conglobata is a particularly severe form of acne that can develop during steroid abuse or even after the drug has been discontinued. Infections are a common side effect of steroid abuse because of needle sharing and unsanitary techniques used when injecting the drugs into the skin.
Skin abscesses may occur at injection sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Endocarditis or an infection of the heart valves is not uncommon. Psychiatric and psychological complications include manic behavior and psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions.
Aggressive behavior is common and is often known as "roid rage. Because the muscle growth can occur quickly, it can cause stress on the tendons that attach the muscle to bone and those who abuse anabolic steroids are at risk for tendon rupture.
Anabolic steroids can increase bone production, especially in the skull and face. Teeth can splay apart as the maxilla and mandible grow. There can be overgrowth of the forehead, giving an "Incredible Hulk" appearance. If adolescent teenagers abuse steroids before they have finished growing, these drugs can prematurely close bone growth plates, leading to short stature.
How are anabolic steroid abuse and addiction diagnosed? The diagnosis of anabolic steroid abuse in high school, college, and professional athletes may occur with a failed drug test, but many people who abuse these drugs are never randomly tested. The diagnosis is often made when they present with one of the side effects of steroid use.
Once the potential diagnosis of drug abuse is considered, it is important that the health-care provider offer the opportunity for the patient to consider drug treatment options, just like any other addictive drug. However, the first step in diagnosis and treatment must be taken by the patient to admit there is a potential for abuse and their willingness to consider intervention and treatment.
What is the treatment for anabolic steroid abuse and addiction? Counseling is the mainstay of therapy for anabolic steroid abuse.
The patient and their support group, family and friends, need to appreciate that the approach to this addiction may be similar to addiction to other drugs and alcohol. Depression and suicidal thoughts may occur when the steroids are stopped, and this potential must be monitored closely.
Withdrawal symptoms vary with each patient, and the health-care professional may need to prescribe short courses of medications to help with headaches , muscle aches , and insomnia. Is it possible to prevent anabolic steroid abuse and addiction? Prevention of steroid abuse begins at a young age. There is pressure even at middle school to take drugs to increase performance on the playing field and in the gym.
As well, personal appearance and perception begin early on. Unrealistic expectations can drive adolescent boys and girls to try to achieve the often unrealistic image of models in fashion magazines and athletes in the gym. Counseling and guidance that continues through high school and beyond has been shown to be effective in decreasing steroid use in the younger population. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the use of anabolic steroids continues to be a significant problem in the adolescent population.
Their continuing monitoring studies found that in the following percentage of students used anabolic steroids in the past year:. Where can I get more information on anabolic steroid abuse? While there are many web sites that teach people how to abuse anabolic steroids without getting caught, there are also many that can educate about their benefits, risks, and dangers. Examples include the following:.
Read about the health risks of chronic heavy or binge drinking. Anemia, cancer, gout, cardiovascular disease and many more disease can be caused from heavy or binge drinking. Why did you use steroids? Were you an athlete or was peer pressure involved? Please share your story. Describe the psychological and physical side effects that you experienced with anabolic steroid use or abuse. What kinds of treatment, therapy, or medications did you receive for anabolic steroid use or addiction?
High blood pressure hypertension is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension 1 in 3 adults , and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms. Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose sugar from the bloodstream into muscle and other tissues. There are no signs or symptoms of insulin resistance. Causes of insulin can include conditions such as stress, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and steroid use. Some of the risk factors for insulin resistance include fatty liver, heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular disease, high cholesterol, and smoking.
Treatment for insulin resistance are lifestyle changes and if necessary, medication. Jaundice hyperbilirubinemia in adults may be caused by a variety of medical diseases or conditions. Some cases of jaundice can be managed at home with a doctor's supervision, while other causes of jaundice may be life-threatening.
Symptoms of jaundice are:. Low testosterone low-T can be caused by conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver or kidney disease, hormonal disorders, certain infections, and hypogonadism.
Signs and symptoms that a person may have low-T include:.
Iamges: anabolic steroids addictive qualities
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Anabolic steroids are substances, taken either orally or intravenously, that mimic testosterone. Search Search this site:
It also causes the body to swell, especially in the hands and feet. Skin abscesses may occur at anabolic steroids addictive qualities sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Steroid Abuse The term anabolic refers to the muscle-building properties of these manmade substances. Stacking is thought to produce a greater effect on muscle size than could be obtained by simply increasing low testosterone problems dose of a single drug. Low testosterone low-T can be caused by conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver or kidney disease, hormonal disorders, certain infections, and hypogonadism.
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