Drug Addiction in Bodybuilding – The Risks of Long-term Steroid Use
When you think about someone who’s addicted to drugs, you probably picture someone who doesn’t care about their health. It’s unlikely you think of a person who hits the gym, watches what they eat, and keeps a close eye on their physique.
Drug addicts aren’t supposed to care about those things, are they?
This is just one stereotype about drug addiction that is rarely grounded in reality. For example, individuals who use anabolic-androgenic steroids are often some of the most health-conscious people around. Bodybuilders and weightlifters pay close attention to their diet and fitness regimen.
Unfortunately, many are tempted to give nature a boost by taking steroids. And recent studies show that long-term steroid use can cause serious damage to the heart and arteries.
What Are Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic compounds of the male sex hormone testosterone. In some cases, doctors prescribe steroids to treat legitimate health conditions, such as muscle loss, cancer, and AIDS. Steroids are also used to correct hormonal imbalances.
However, steroids can also be abused. When athletes or bodybuilders use steroids illegally, they often take doses that are 10 to 100 times higher than those prescribed by physicians. Steroids can be injected, taken in pill form, or absorbed through the skin by applying lotions, gel, or patches.
Steroids don’t produce the “high” that other substances do, but they can be just as damaging to the body. They can also alter a person’s mood, causing them to become violent, aggressive, paranoid, or delusional. This is the “‘roid rage” that people sometimes reference when talking about a person who lashes out or acts irrationally after consuming steroids.
Heart and Artery Damage Following Steroid Use
The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently funded a new study that examined the physiological impact of long-term steroid use on the body.
The study, which analyzed male weightlifters between the ages of 34 and 54, revealed that long-term exposure to anabolic steroids is associated with reduced pumping performance in the heart and damage to the arteries. An astonishing 71 percent of the men studied had impairment in their heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently.
Contact Serenity at Summit Today
Drug addiction treatment often seems to focus on street drugs and prescription drugs. Steroids don’t often receive a spotlight. Because they don’t affect the levels of dopamine in the brain, they may not seem as addictive as other substances. However, steroids can be difficult to give up. If you’re struggling with steroid abuse, you deserve help like anyone else. There are ways to change the way you see your body. Take a positive step forward for your long-term health by seeking treatment.
Serenity at Summit has both inpatient and outpatient programs to help people tackle their addiction and overcome it long-term Our inpatient and outpatient programs are personalized and medically supervised. Call our drug detox experts in New Jersey at behavioral health professionals today at 1 to speak to a substance drug abuse expert about your treatment options.