A person who first achieves sobriety is in danger of falling into the trap of behavioral addictions. Food, sex, and gambling are examples of behavioral addictions that a person may find themselves engaging in as an attempt to replace the fleeting feelings of pleasure provided by drugs. Another common behavioral addiction is working out. Unfortunately, many people in recovery will take this to the extreme and begin using steroids to build muscle. Steroids are “synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. While steroids can be effective in treating the muscle loss caused by diseases such as cancer and AIDS, they are often abused for their muscle-building properties. People who abuse the drug may take doses that are “10 to 100 times highers than doses prescribed to treat medical conditions.” The amount far exceeds any recommended therapeutic amounts and can lead to significant short- and long-term effects. People who abuse steroids, especially those in recovery, will often point to the fact that the drugs do not create a “high”. However, prolonged use of steroids can disrupt the brain in a similar way as addictions to other substances. According to the NIDA, “long-term steroid abuse can act on some of the same brain pathways and chemicals—including dopamine, serotonin, and opioid systems—that are affected by other drugs. This may result in a significant effect on mood and behavior.” In the short-term, steroids can cause feelings of paranoia, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment. The drug is associated with psychological, musculoskeletal, endocrine, cardiovascular, and dermatological side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, men who use steroids may develop prominent breasts, baldness, shrunken testicles, infertility, impotence, and prostate gland enlargement. Women may develop a deeper voice, an enlarged clitoris, increased body hair, baldness, and infrequent or absent periods. Both men and women can experience a wide range of negative effects, including: severe acne; liver abnormalities and tumors; aggressive behaviors, rage, or violence; drug dependence; inhibited growth and developments, and risk of future health problems in teenagers; hypertension; and are at greater risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis if they are injecting the drug.
Your future in sobriety can become one of health and happiness in sobriety. You can begin building a life of serenity and peace of mind by making the courageous decision to seek help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a licensed dual diagnosis treatment center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to providing perfect environment for men and women to begin the process of healing from addiction. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777