Having a better, sleeker, stronger, high-performance body seems to be a big aim these days. And a lot of people are ‘cheating’ by using steroids. What are the risks of steroid use? And why is taking steroids such a bad idea? We check out just why, you shouldn’t resort to using steroids in your quest for the perfect body.
- Steroids can be addictive
Surprised? It’s a little-known fact, but using steroids can cause an addiction to the substances you’re pumping into your system. A pair of researchers from Yale University are the latest ones to confirm what everyone has been suspecting; you can get a physical addiction from using steroids.
The researchers say that heavy steroid users experience cravings and classic withdrawal symptoms when they don’t get their regular shot of performance enhancing drugs. These include depression, anxiety, headaches, fatigue and aching muscles and joints. It’s one of those things that creep up on you. You tell yourself you can stop any time. Then you find that you can’t. IF this is you, get help for your addiction before it’s too late!
- There are nasty physical side-effects
Although the image of a muscled athlete is something we all admire and want to emulate, you aren’t going to get that from using steroids. If you’re a guy, you certainly don’t want prominent breasts, you probably don’t want to go bald or see your testicles shrinking away and you seriously don’t want to find that you’re impotent or unable to have kids later on. Plus, an enlarged prostate is really uncomfortable and can cause you to need some very unpleasant medical procedures. You really don’t feel great with a catheter in place!
Women may prefer to keep a feminine speaking voice, and no woman wants more body hair or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a bald head. Plus, steroids mess with your menstrual cycle, and we all know what a bad sign that is!
Neither men nor women love the idea of having acne, liver problems, high blood pressure, higher levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, psychiatric disorders or aggressive mood swings. Plus, if you’re injecting yourself you run the risk of infections. Glamorous? Definitely not!
- A host of other health conditions
There are really too many potential health problems to list. Heart disease, diabetes, aches and pains, cramps, dehydration and, ironically, muscle weakness are just a few more of the problems you may experience if you choose to use performance enhancing drugs.
Some of them can even kill you if you get too much of them, and let’s face it, you’re getting these drugs illegally and you’re using them without medical supervision for reasons that no medical doctor would condone. You’re taking an enormous risk, and instead of having a ‘better’ body, you actually have a body that’s less healthy than it was before.
- Some side effects are irreversible
Usually, if you have a bad reaction to a prescription drug, reversing the side effects is as simple as stopping the medication – but that’s not always true of steroids. Both men and women can experience irreversible side-effects because they have been toying with the way their hormones work. Once the hormonal system is off balance, it can be difficult or even impossible to reverse the effects of steroid use.
- It can lead to opioid abuse
Does this sound over the top? A study found that 10% of men admitted for treatment against opioid abuse started with steroids. They began using the opioids or opiates to counter some of the side-effects of the steroids like muscle pain and insomnia – and once you’ve started injecting yourself with one illegal drug, injecting yourself with another may not seem like such a big deal.
What should you do if you suspect you’re addicted to steroids?
As with any other addiction problem, the first step is to visit your doctor and come clean about the problem you’re experiencing. It’s not your doctor’s job to judge you – but it is his or her job to explain your options and provide assistance. Help is what you need.
If you’re physically addicted to steroids, you may benefit from addiction treatment in a rehabilitation center, where you’re taken away from the circumstances in which you started using steroids and can get off to a fresh start.
- The risks of steroid use outweigh the benefits
- You can be addicted to steroids
- If you have difficulty stopping, get help