“You too can have a body like mine,” the old slogan goes. Achieving the perfect shape goes hand in hand with modern living, but it’s an impossible goal for many.
Steroids are often associated with athletes or bodybuilders. They’re looking for a quick way to build muscle and lose fat while recovering faster from training. Unfortunately, these drugs carry serious side effects that can damage their health permanently.
Many gym goers know little or nothing about steroids symptoms and warning signs. They only see the potential benefits. Images of the perfect body projected in all types of media can have a profound effect on people, especially teenagers.
Some men may feel they just look too weak and small. Women may think they’re fat. Their perceptions may not actually even reflect reality; most take the drug to look more muscular, slimmer, and in better shape.
Symptoms of Addiction to Steroids
The problem is that this quick-fix doesn’t come without serious downsides. Anabolic steroids increase protein synthesis, leading to faster recovery, hypertrophy, and greater strength.
Although these drugs may have some legitimate medical uses, there will be a price to pay for using them.
Addiction to steroids can cause severe mood swings and aggressiveness, which is known as “roid rage.” Like other kinds of drug abuse, it can also alter your personality over time.
Common signs of anabolic steroid abuse include:
- Acne or spots, usually on the face and back
- Fast muscle gain
- Bigger breasts in men (gynecomastia)
- Symptoms of paranoia
- Manic moods
- Women developing facial hair
Some people use anabolic steroids in cycles. The idea is that by coming on and off the drugs, their negative effects will be mitigated. This is not necessarily true; there will always be long-term risks.
Steroid abuse has been linked to liver cancer, kidney problems, increased blood pressure, and heart failure.
Addiction to anabolic steroids can even prevent normal growth in teenagers. The drugs can cause the bones to age more quickly. If someone hasn’t fully developed through puberty and is taking steroids, they may not grow any taller, for example.
Injecting anabolic steroids may also increase the risk of developing HIV and Hepatitis C if you’re using someone else’s needles.
Steroid abuse can cause dramatic alterations in one’s behavior. It can make a person who may have never shown aggressive tendencies to become violent. This can lead to domestic assault, armed theft, and conflicts at home and in the workplace.
These drugs can also bring a whole host of other side effects ranging from vomiting blood to abdominal pain. They may cause sleeping problems, blood clots, hair loss, and high cholesterol.
Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Steroids
In men, steroid abuse will suppress normal testosterone production. This can lead to a shrinking of the testicles and lower sperm count. In the end, the testes may stop working altogether.
In women, abuse can lead to a masculinization of the body. This will result in a noticeable loss of body fat and breast size. The voice may deepen and facial hair will become more pronounced.
Is My Child Using Steroids?
One of the primary side effects of steroid abuse in children is stunted growth. This is because the drugs can stop their bones from growing properly. Any sign of this should be a major cause of concern.
Abnormal preoccupation with body shape or size may just be a passing phase, but it could lead to dangerous habits. Problems with body image, including body dysmorphia, can be the underlying problem of why a child chooses to take steroids.
Has your child embarked in a sport with an unhealthy obsession to excel? Competitiveness is a great asset to have, but if your instinct tells you there is something more going on, then it’s time to stop.
Sudden mood changes with violent outbursts may also indicate the use of steroids.
Is My Parent Using Steroids?
The first sign of steroid abuse may be a rapid gain in lean muscle over a relatively short period of time, such as two or three months. You may also notice that your parent is working out a lot more than usual without feeling tired or fatigued.
Are they also receiving unusual packages in the mail? Look out for any of the supplies associated with steroid abuse. This could be anything from syringes and needles to vials of pills.
Keep an eye out for marks on the skin where injections have been administrated. Check the trash for empty packets of pills. A sudden and heavy outbreak of acne is also a major warning sign that something is wrong.
Some of the other signs of steroid abuse are gender specific. Men, for instance, may develop enlarged breasts and fertility problems.
In women, steroid abuse can cause baldness, body hair growth, decreased breast size, deepening of the voice, and irregular periods.
Violent mood swings that seem to come from nowhere are another sign that your parent could be engaging in steroid abuse. Other complications include manic behavior and psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions.
Unusual aggressive behavior is common in both genders.
Furthermore, steroid abuse can increase bone size in adults, especially in the skull and around the face. There may also be an excess overgrowth of the forehead.
Intervention for Steroid Abuse
Many of those who abuse steroids show a lack of willingness to get treatment. Staging an intervention may bring some clarity to anyone who has been in denial.
Hiring a professional is generally recommended. This is due to the violent behavior that can accompany steroid abuse.
Staging an intervention without professional help is possible, but it needs to be well thought through. There needs to be a plan in place in case the user refuses treatment.
Learn More about Steroids Symptoms and Warning Signs
These steroids symptoms and warning signs shouldn’t be taken lightly. Making the decision to step in when a loved one is abusing these drugs can be overwhelming.
We are there so that you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Get in touch so that we can give you the helping hand you need at this difficult time.