What’s the Average Length of Stay in Steroid Addiction Treatment?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male sex hormone testosterone. Anabolic refers to muscle-building, and androgenic refers to increased male sexual characteristics. Steroid refers to the class of drugs. If a person is using a steroid without a prescription, it is likely that he or she is attempting to enhance performance and/or improve physical appearance.
Steroid abuse can lead to serious and irreversible health problems including liver damage, jaundice, fluid retention, high blood pressure, increase in LDL (“bad” cholesterol), decrease in HDL (“good” cholesterol) and renal failure. Steroids also have unique damages to males such as causing the testicles to shrink, reduced sperm count and infertility, baldness and increased risk for prostate cancer. For women, steroids can cause growth of facial hair and changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle.
Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms
When a person recognizes that he or she is abusing steroids and seeks to discontinue the abuse, he or she may experience some of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Decreased appetite, weight loss
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting
- Low blood sugar levels
- Joint or muscle pain
Steroid use cannot be stopped abruptly; tapering the drug gives the adrenal glands time to return to their normal patterns of secretion.
Steroid Addiction Treatment
Many people believe that medically-supervised detoxification for steroid is not necessary; however, depending on the length of abuse or the amount of the steroids in your body, detox under a physician’s care is a wise choice. The process of detox typically includes an initial meeting to look at your medical history. They may also conduct other blood tests to get a clear understanding of your needs. With this information, they are able to customize a detox protocol that will work best for you in removing the drug from your body with the least amount of withdrawal symptoms. Detox can be performed in an outpatient or inpatient setting to provide a safe method of withdrawal from addictive substances.
If a person is abusing steroids, there are typically underlying issues leading the person to make the choice to use steroids. These underlying issues can include mental, emotional, traumatic, or self-esteem issues that a person is attempting to resolve by changing his or her appearance.
Seeking an outpatient or inpatient treatment program enables a person to not only take advantage of medically-supervised detox, but also the other services that a quality rehab facility provides are available. Individual counseling can help a steroid abuser get a clearer understanding of what caused him or her to make the decision to abuse steroids. Thus, the addict can start working through these issues. In some cases, a steroid abuser can actually resolve these issues, yet at a minimum, he or she can learn healthier ways of coping with the issues without harming his or her body and mind. Group therapy provides a safe environment in which steroid addicts can learn from others with similar issues and can also share their issues in a supportive environment.
Get Help for Steroid Abuse
If you or someone you know is addicted to steroids, call our toll free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about steroid addiction treatment. We are here to help.