Teen Steroids Abuse

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Steroids or anabolic steroids are lab-manufactured versions of testosterone, a male-dominated hormone. They are often abused to enhance physical appearance, improve athletic performance and promote muscle growth. As they help increase muscle mass, they are sometimes prescribed to cancer patients and those suffering from HIV showing problem of muscle deterioration. They are also prescribed by doctors to heal sports injuries and are not usually taken for their psychoactive effects.

Classified as Schedule III substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), steroids are available as tablets, capsules, gels, creams and various water-based and oil-based injectable solutions. The dosage of steroid abuse is often 10 to 100 times higher than the approved dosage for therapeutic and medical reasons. Commonly knowns as Juice, Pumpers, Roids and Weight Gainers, they are often bought and sold online and in school gyms and during body-building competitions.

Teen years are marked by ongoing brain development and lot of physical, emotional and mental changes. Increasing peer pressure, influence of social media and world of glamor can generate feelings of low self-worth and insecurity among young people. In a desire to look good and gain social acceptance, they may use steroids. Abuse of anabolic steroids is an increasing problem in young boys and girls who hope to get an edge in college sports and other sporting events through steroids. Little do they know that using the drugs for nonmedical reasons can have serious physical and mental consequences.

Signs of steroid abuse

Associated with a wide variety of adverse health effects, including acne, excessive body hair, breast enlargement, heart diseases and liver enlargement, many of these are often irreversible and life-threatening. Depending on the method of abuse, other effects include red and inflamed injection marks on the skin and strange odor in case of misusing steroid creams. The treatment usually starts with steroid detox treatment.

Here are some other signs of steroid abuse:

  • Reversal of good and bad cholesterol levels
  • Cancer
  • Delusions
  • Enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Hepatitis or HIV from shared needle use
  • Shrinking of testicles
  • Enlargement of clitoris
  • Infertility

Red flags

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), recognizing the warning signs can help get timely treatment. Here are some of the red flags to identify the problematic behavior:

  • Abnormally excessive development of breast tissue in males (gynecomastia)
  • Dizziness and trembling
  • Drastic appetite changes
  • Energy level swings
  • Hair loss in clumps
  • Increased muscle size – sudden or gradual
  • Jaundice or liver damage
  • Stunted height
  • Joint pain and heightened proclivity to rupture muscles and tendons
  • Male pattern baldness in women and men
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Polarized sleep patterns
  • Red or purplish acne on face, shoulder and back
  • Skin abscesses and cysts
  • Stretch marks on the inner joints
  • Thickening of body hair on women
  • Trouble urinating or discoloration or blood in urine
  • Oily scalp
  • Bloating or night sweats
  • Weight gain – rapid or progressive

Effects of steroid abuse

It is illegal to possess steroids without a legitimate reason and prescription, but they can be easily bought from the black market. They are commonly abused by injecting into the muscles, consuming in pill form and applying through gels and creams.

An underlying mental disorder or an unpleasant sexual experience or physical trauma can also lead to steroid abuse – kind of subconscious compensation. Female weight lifters who are raped are found to be twice as likely to use them in order to become powerful and unattractive, which will dissuade the attackers.

Although it is clear that the negatives of using steroids often outweigh its positives for nonmedical consumption, someone would have to feel desperate to take such a great risk for aesthetic results. A case of muscle dysmorphia or reverse anorexia is one example. A disorder primarily affecting males, muscle dysmorphia is a compulsive obsession with muscle building and extreme dieting.

Like a patch on a ripped piece of clothing, muscles are formed by layers of tissue patching up small tears to muscle fibers. These tears can occur during repetitive weight lifting or weight leveraging motion. As the tiny fibers heal, they’re rebuilt stronger. Over a period of time, they result in dense muscular layers – or muscle growth.

Short-term steroid use can trigger mood swings, making the person unpredictable, volatile and aggressive. This is also known as roid rage. Long-term steroid abuse can cause stroke and heart attack – even in teenagers. Steroid abuse can also lead to psychological problems like depression, delusions, impaired judgment, irritability and nervousness, among others.

Steroid addiction treatment

With their high risk of dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms, a comprehensive treatment for steroid abuse and addiction involves medically supervised detox program at certified steroid detox centers followed by ongoing therapy sessions to address the underlying causes.

In addition to an effective detoxification treatment, which is the foremost step to remove the traces of the drug from the body and prepare it for further treatment, experiential therapies like yoga and meditation are helpful in managing anxiety and stress felt during the withdrawal process.

Why choose Sovereign Health

What may start as a desperate attempt to secure a competitive advantage can morph into a lifelong dependence with severe health consequences. As steroid addiction is both physical and mental, Sovereign Health believes that its treatment must address physical rehabilitation as well as mental health.

Sovereign Health is a leading and licensed provider of mental health and addiction treatment in the U.S. We are proud to be a Joint Commission-accredited facility with a full spectrum of treatments in all three settings – inpatient/ residential, outpatient and continuing care programs for substance abuse, chronic pain, and mental and eating disorders.

Sovereign Health believes in following an integrated approach based on customized treatment. We provide a comprehensive assessment of our patients to assess their needs and design a customized individual treatment plan. Our team of trained clinicians and psychiatrists incorporate holistic and strength-based approaches to treat adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.

Our centers are equipped with a trained and experienced team of doctors, nurses, therapists, clinical concierge hosts, residential attendants and support staff dedicated to patients’ long-lasting recovery. To learn more about our top-notch treatment programs, call our 24/7 helpline number and speak to an admissions specialist. You can even chat online with a representative for further assistance.

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