Steroid Addiction: Myths and Facts

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Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV.

Steroid Addiction Myths and Facts
Suffering from an addiction is a terrible way to have to go through your life. Steroid addiction is a particularly nasty form since it has you constantly trying to strive for bigger and better in your body. Steroid addiction shares comparable results to eating disorders, in that the addiction often correlates with body dysmorphia. 
This article should help you determine what to believe about steroids, and what not to believe. There is a lot of confusion among potential consumers about whether they are bad or not. This is because we use steroid creams as topical medications, and because steroids do have their uses in a medical setting. Here are the Myths and Facts about steroid use in the UK.

Steroid Use UK Statistics

The Guardian made waves a few years ago when they announced that almost one million people in Britain used steroids for the aesthetic appeal, rather than the medicinal benefits. In a craze often depicted as central to the bodybuilding scene, steroid use grew out of control in the nineties and noughties, so much so that we are still feeling the effects.  Naturally, this news caused global alarm and researchers set out to conduct more studies. Sure enough, they found that Britain’s Anabolic Steroid use problem was out of control. A 2020 paper found that the UK’s steroid use per capita was 3.3% higher than the rest of Europe. The main users were men between the ages of 20 and 40. 25% of those men began their steroid use as teenagers. 

Steroids: The Myths and the Facts

There are standard myths that we all have about steroid use. Let’s bust some down.

Myth #1: Medical steroids are safe to use

Any prescription drug is potentially addictive. The doctor will weigh the use of a steroid against the potential outcome to your health without it and decide on the best course of treatment. This doesn’t mean they are safe to use. The types of steroids usually accepted in medicine include corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatories. Illegal steroids are anabolic or androgenic, instead.

Myth #2: Steroids affect penis size

This one is close, but still a myth. Rather than the myth regarding manhood size, steroids work to change your levels of testosterone. Too much or too little of this, and you might experience erectile dysfunction. Testosterone also impacts your sex drive, so it can be incredibly frustrating.

Myth #3: Steroid users are all men

Again, this isn’t true. Yes, most steroid users are male, but not all of them. Scientific studies suggest about 91.85% of all illegal steroid users are male. That still leaves 9% of women. The gap between male and female users could be down to gender roles and expectations. Men feel an incredible pressure to see results when they are using the gym. Steroids achieve those results faster.

Myth #4: Steroids are Cheating

It’s not that they are cheating, it’s that they are potentially killing your liver and causing heart issues. Steroid users are those who are already putting in hard work and hours at the gym but who want faster results. Steroids might not even do the things you want them to do. When you are unhappy with the way you look, there is only so much that changing your appearance can do. After that, the changes must come from your outlook. Besides anything else, the look is not sustainable. Once you stop using, the swollen muscles will go away again.

Myth #5: Steroids are not addictive

We hate to hear that there are people who still believe this. Steroids are as addictive as any other drug. They are worse for you if you already suffer from eating disorders or body dysmorphia. When the two conditions become intertwined, a co-occurring disorder forms. These are harder to pick apart in therapy.  To put statistics on this myth, about 32% of all steroid users are dependent. That’s only of those who admit their addiction. There are plenty of other people using these performance enhancing drugs right now, who don’t know they have an addiction yet. We should always skew slightly higher with figures like these. 

Where to Find a Rehab for Steroid Addiction in England and Wales?

If you find yourself struggling against steroid addiction, don’t suffer in silence. Contact the Help4Addiction team today to discuss your recovery options. Our specialists can help place you in the right rehab clinic to help get you back on your feet. Call 0203 955 7700 toady for more information.

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