Are Anabolic Steroids Addictive?

Are Anabolic Steroids Addictive?

Steroids are serious drugs that should not be taken without a great deal of thought about the physical and psychological effects they can have. The obvious side effect that most people are aware of is aggression, often referred to as “roid rage” or “steroid rush”. This is likely due to steroids interfering with the brain’s ability to regulate a hormone called vasopressin which is linked to aggression. However, there are other, maybe more serious, concerns associated with steroid use.

In the United States, steroids can only be purchased legally with a prescription. However, there are plenty of places where you can buy anabolic steroids online. I am not going to be one of those people that tell you that all steroid use is bad and is going to lead to irreparable damage to your body.

Used responsibly, steroids are powerful body-building and physique-shaping drugs. They promote rapid muscle and bone growth as well as a decrease in body fat, which provides the user with increased strength and endurance. Because of the benefits, it is easy to see why steroid use is widespread among athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters.

The bulking up provided by steroids can lead to a boost in confidence and strength leading an irresponsible user to overlook serious long-term damage that can be done. Besides the obvious attraction seen by athletes and bodybuilders, steroids are often used and abused by people who feel they look underweight, are out of shape or not in the shape they want to be, or many times by those who are being bullied or regularly attacked. These people often have underlying psychological issues going on. When something like steroids are introduced, it can lead to addiction.

Anabolic steroids also have medical uses such as for treating cases of delayed puberty in males, some cases of impotence, treating body wasting in AIDS patients, and certain diseases that cause the body to produce an abnormally low amount of testosterone. The doses used in these cases are typically anywhere from 10 to 100 times lower than the doses used by performance enhancers.

When it comes to steroid addiction, it is different than other drug addictions. With anabolic steroids, there is no euphoric high that comes with the use of commonly abused drugs like cocaine, opiate painkillers, or alcohol. Instead of that desire for the immediate feeling of pleasure driving their addiction, those who find themselves addicted to steroids are usually addicted for emotional reasons. They often worry that they will not be able to achieve the same level of performance without the steroids, which leads them to keep using. Many users also report a “I feel ready to take on the world” type of feeling that makes them feel powerful and secure. It is something that some find difficult to give up.

Users of steroids do not develop a physical dependence on them like the users of opiate painkillers will, but prolonged use can cause withdrawal-like symptoms when they stop using them. For example, some anabolic steroids will suppress the natural production of testosterone. Production levels will usually return to normal after usage stops, but not immediately. This chemical inbalance can cause issues in the body.

So to answer the question, yes steroids can be addictive, but it not the type of addiction we normally think of when it comes to other drugs. Used irresponsibly, they can be abused just like any other drug.