WHAT ARE STEROIDS? - Campus Health

health.arizona.edu

WHAT ARE STEROIDS? - Campus Health

WHAT ARE STEROIDS?A synthetic compound designed to mimic theeffects of the male hormone testosterone.


Who Uses Steroids?• Olympic athletes• Professional athletes• Fitness Buffs/Gym “rats”• Law enforcement• Construction Workers• Bodyguards/Bouncers• Teens


Why are steroids abused?• Increased athletic performance• Increased attraction of the opposite sex• To medicate a traumatic experience such as rapeor being bullied or beaten up• Reduce body fat and increase muscle mass• Muscle dysmorphia• To fit in. Peer pressure


Signs of steroid use• Increased muscle mass• Acne/Oily skin/Back acne• Hair loss• Increased interest in self appearance• Metrosexual qualities• Begins reading bodybuilding or fitness magazines• Isolation from social groups• Begins hanging out with other “big guys”• Change in wardrobe• Secretive behavior• Red blots on skin• More self-care or grooming• Loss of prior self• Drastic change in eating habits


Where do steroids come from?• Pill or injectable• To the U.S. from Mexico and Europe• Sold on the black market• Via the internet• Home labs; order powder and make own for cheaper cost• Most gyms have at least one major dealer• Can spot dealer as self-user who is very social and will usuallyapproach and speak openly of steroids• Legal consequences are not stringent and carry little punishment• Expensive addiction-users usually develop financial problems


Are males the only steroid abusers?• Traditionally yes• Female use has more than doubled in thepast decade• Females use more for weight loss or toning• Female athletes face the same pressure asmales• Body image issues are the number onereason given by female abusers


Physical side-effects of steroid abuse…• Impotence• Sexual dysfunction• Rage behavior (Individuals who have pre-existing angerproblems)• Irreversible development of breasts• Jaundice• Distinctive persistent bad breath• Constant aches and pains due to quick muscle growth• More susceptible to injury• Cysts• Fatigue• Restlessness• Loss of sleep


Physical side effects continued…Long term effects• Heart attack• Stroke• Cancers• Abcesses• Shrinking of testicles• In adolescents irreversible effects on growth cycle• Most long-term effects are unknown…most abusers dieat an early age


Physical side effects in women• Deepening of the voice• Cessation of menstrual cycle• Development of male characteristics• Growth of facial hair• Decrease in breast tissue• Sexual reproductive defects


Psychological effects of steroid abuse• “Roid rage” – most often in individuals predisposed toanger• Manic episodes• Feelings of euphoria• Feelings of invincibility• Major depression• Suicidal thoughts and tendencies• Decrease in social coping skills


Are steroids addictive?• No definitive studies yet• Steroid abuser’s psychological state predicts an addictivestyle• Steroid abusers continue to use even after adverseeffects• Withdrawal symptoms of depression, body image issues,drug seeking, point to addictive behaviors


Cross addiction patterns• Steroid abusers tend to be abusers of other drugs• Most common is opiates such as vicodin, percocet,oxycontin, heroin• In studies upwards of 50% of admitted steroid abusersalso abuse some opiate• Most also stated they obtained both drugs from samedealer – steroid dealers are smart and will “cash-in” onthe cross addictive behaviors


How is steroid abuse treated?Sierra Tucson• With new evidence suggesting steroids are addictive• Steroids are treated in the same format as any otheraddictive drug and many rehab centers offer theseprograms• 12-step programs, NA groups, inpatient therapy, dualdiagnosis centers if other psychological issues havesurfaced


What to do if someone I know is abusingsteroids?• 1 st step is to seek professional help• Let individual know of your concern• Stay away from feeding their addiction bycomplementing the way they look• Be sure to respect the individual and speak to them inan understanding manner• Steroid abuse is becoming more and more prominentand carries many consequences…not to be taken lightly(i.e. Parents who want their kids to perform wellathletically)


Help is available:On campus – Counseling and Psychological Services(CAPS) 520-621-3334Off-campus – Sierra Tucson1-800-842-4487

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