Anabolic steroids work in a similar way to male hormones like testosterone by promoting muscle growth and male sexual characteristic development. They are sometimes prescribed by doctors to help combat muscle weakness after surgery or cases of anemia.
Commonly prescribed anabolic steroids include Deca-Durabolin, Anavar, Stanozolol and Dianabol, but these are only legal when they are prescribed officially by a medical practitioner. Steroid supplements, on the other hand, are freely available over the counter and online.
Many sports enthusiasts, bodybuilders and athletes take anabolic steroids or steroid supplements to boost their muscles and improve their performance, which can lead to a psychological dependency. Taking anabolic steroids causes problems with natural hormone production which can lead to many unpleasant side effects. For example men may have acne, erection problems and shrinking testicles, while women experience shrinking breasts, menstrual problems and increased body hair growth.
It is also common for anabolic steroid addicts to become more aggressive and even violent as well as experiencing drastic mood swings. Other problems can include paranoia, mental confusion and insomnia. Physically there are many worrying consequences of anabolic steroid abuse, including high blood pressure, liver failure, heart attacks and strokes.
Symptoms of Anabolic Steroid Addiction
Do you know someone who is worrying you by exhibiting a possible addiction to anabolic steroids? Try asking yourself the following questions.
- Are they registered, or trying to register, at more than one GP, and have a habit of visiting different pharmacies to get their prescribed steroids?
- Do they become aggressive or defensive when confronted about their steroid use, justifying excessive use with “but the doctor gave it to me” or “it is medicine?”
- Do they seem to be generally more aggressive and moody than normal, perhaps exhibiting more dominating or openly violent behaviour?
- Are they showing physical symptoms such as acne along with their excessive muscle growth?