7 Long-Term Effects of Steroid Use
Steroids are not among the first things that come to mind when people think about drug abuse and narcotics. There are various types of steroids, but one particular type known as anabolic steroids is repeatedly abused. They also carry similar addictive properties of other commonly abused drugs.
Once a dependency for “roids” is developed, narcotic drug addiction treatment is necessary for recovery. Those who abuse anabolic steroids are usually looking to change their physical health, performance, or appearance, unaware of the permanent damage that can be inflicted on their bodies.
Change in Physical Appearance
One of the most distinguishable effects of steroid abuse is a change in outward appearance, common among even the “lightest” of abusers. Physical changes you’ll notice are severe acne, oily skin, and hair loss. With heavy steroid abuse, teenage girls are known to develop excess facial and body hair, and teenage boys may develop breasts—a condition known as gynaecomastia.1
Behavioral Patterns and Emotional Health
Other common side effects of steroid abuse are increased anger and aggression, often displayed in uncontrollable bursts. Abusers are easily irritable, and many experience dramatic mood swings. The latter is particularly concerning, as abusers may fall into a deep depression and even have suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Some of the most devastating effects of steroid abuse are conditions concerning the heart. According to medical research conducted by Gen Kanayama, James I. Hudson, and Harrison G. Pope, Jr., two of the most common cardiovascular effects of anabolic steroid abuse are cardiomyopathy and atherosclerosis. The former is a heart disease which causes heart muscles to become enlarged, thick, or rigid. Common side effects include swelling of the hands, legs, ankles, and feet, known as fluid retention, and shortness of breath.2
Atherosclerosis is an artery disease wherein fats, cholesterol, and other substances begin to build up in and on artery walls, restricting blood flow. This disease is the usual cause of heart attacks and strokes.3
Other Health Problems
Abusers may also experience kidney problems or failure, along with damage to the liver and development of tumors and cysts.
Teenage boys abusing steroids may experience stunted bone growth and damage to the testicles, including decreased sperm count and impotence, while teenage girls may suffer a disrupted menstrual cycle and permanent infertility.
Last, but not least, heavy steroid abusers may begin to experience paranoia and develop delusions of grandeur and invincibility. These conditions, along with the aforementioned side effects, produce individuals who are potentially great dangers to themselves.
If you find yourself succumbing to the vindictive nature of anabolic steroids, we are ready to help. Contact us today at (888) 418-4188 to get started on the road to recovery.