Media can have a profound impact on the expectations people place upon themselves. Especially in the age of social media and YouTube, more and more people are turning to anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to keep up. People often ask, “are steroids addictive?”
Steroids promise bigger, faster, and stronger. As a result of intense social competition, adoption has increased. There is a great deal of debate about anabolic steroids – their safety, what constitutes abuse, and whether or not they’re steroids are addictive.
What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Steroids are hormones that increase the production of testosterone. They’re generally administered through injection. Anabolic steroids generally have effects that fall into two categories:
- Anabolic – This includes effects that result in muscle growth.
- Androgenic – These effects account for amplification of male traits, such as a deep voice and facial hair.
Steroids have various medical applications. These medical application include helping patients gain weight after a severe illness, as well as treating anemia and some types of breast cancer. Steroids are administered through injections or pills.
Are Steroids Safe? Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids.
Under the supervision of a physician using FDA approved anabolic steroids, they’re generally considered safe. Your doctor will often weigh out the costs and benefits of administering steroids, since they do come with possible side effects. Side effects can include:
- Hair loss
- Hair growth in new places
- Development of masculine features
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain (which is often the objective of treatment)
- Development of breast tissue in males
- Reduction in natural testosterone production
As with many substances, steroid abuse is accompanied by significant health risks. Anabolic steroid abuse occurs when they’re taken for purposes other than which they were medically intended. Steroid abusers will often take synthetic steroids not approved by the FDA. This poses an additional layer of risk due to a lack of FDA oversight.
Without doctor supervision, users are likely to take too much for too long. This can be especially dangerous in the case of oral synthetic steroids. Oral steroids must pass through the liver before reaching the bloodstream.
Are Anabolic Steroids Addictive? Anabolic Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms
Steroid abuse has the potential to result in dependency and addiction. This is defined by virtue of the segment of steroid abusers that will continue use despite the negative impact on their social, physical, and economic circumstances.
When a person discontinues steroid use, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Anabolic steroid withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Reduced sex drive
- Testosterone crash
- Loss of appetite
- Invasive thoughts about taking steroids
Consumption of Steroids Without Doctor Supervision Is Risky
There are varying perspectives on the long-term consequences of steroids. There is consensus on one point: taking steroids without the supervision of a doctor can lead to misuse, dependency, and even addiction. Taking steroids for uses other than which they were intended over a long period of time can have consequences. Bodybuilders will often say that after taking steroids, training without them is incomparable. This can contribute to a cycle of abuse.