With such a strong emphasis placed on excelling in sporting activities, addiction to anabolic steroids is becoming increasingly common. However, many people aren’t aware of the problems steroid detox can cause.
Steroid detox involves stopping use of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can be common in people who have developed a dependency on the drug, which can make stopping use extremely difficult for many people unless they seek professional assistance.
There are two primary types of commonly abused steroids. These are anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. There are some differences in the way each type of drug works, but the treatment and detox process are the same for both.
Detox involves stopping intake of the drug in a safe, controlled environment to eliminate the toxins of the drug from the system. It’s important to wean the body slowly off the drug to avoid the onset of withdrawal symptoms.
This is done by tapering the dosage of steroids used each day until the person is drug-free. Tapering off the drug slowly allows the adrenal gland sufficient time to return to normal patterns of secretion.
Many people struggling with a steroid abuse problem may attempt to detox at home. The issue with long-term steroid use is that the substance can build up within the body’s major organs. They can also suppress normal hormone levels, rendering the adrenal gland dysfunctional.
When someone tries to detox at home, the symptoms of withdrawal can include heart problems, low blood pressure and fainting, among other problems. In some cases, the symptoms can be considered a medical emergency. If the person isn’t in a safe environment during detox, they could suffer serious health problems.
It’s also important to note that detox is only the first step in recovery. It’s important that the recovering addict receives proper support during detox, but also receives strong rehab and recovery therapy to address the underlying reasons for drug abuse.
There are several different types of detox programs available to treat steroid abuse. However, the safest way to stop usage is to taper the dosage slowly over time. Tapering off the drug over a period of time allows the adrenal glands time to readjust to normal patterns. In most cases, it can take between four and six weeks for the body to adjust to producing its own hormones naturally again.
Withdrawal symptoms can still occur for people who have been using the drug, even under controlled conditions with gradually tapered doses of steroids. The withdrawal symptoms of detoxing from steroid include:
The primary benefit of seeking professional assistance from a residential rehab center for steroid detox is having around-the-clock medical supervision. Medical staff can administer prescription medication to help treat any adverse symptoms of withdrawal that may arise.
Highly trained staff can also begin work on tailoring the right combination of rehab therapies and treatments to address the underlying psychological triggers for addictive drug abuse. In many cases, people who abuse steroids can have coexisting mental health issues, perfectionism issues, or low self-esteem problems that led to drug abuse in the first place.
Unless the psychological triggers for the addictive behaviors are addressed as part of a structured treatment plan, the risk of relapse is significantly increased.
Residential rehab treatments also incorporate strong individual counseling and therapies to help address the underlying issues that led to drug abuse in the first place. Counseling can help to improve self-esteem and self-image, which can often counteract the reasons for taking steroids in the first place.
Even after steroid rehab treatments and therapy is complete, the recovering person still requires ongoing support to stay clean and drug-free. It’s highly recommended that the person commits regular attendance at group meetings to provide a source of social support and peer guidance through the recovery process.
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