Steroid Addiction – Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

Beating any kind of addiction including Steroids addiction is difficult. It demands a lot of strength, and it can be very draining, both physically and mentally. However, you don’t have to enter this journey on your own. If you are worried that you have become addicted to steroids, or you are fearful for a loved one, you have come to the right place. Here at Help4Addiction, we provide tailored advice to suit your situation, as well as giving you access to local drug rehab facilities. We have connections with treatment centres all over the UK and the world, ensuring you find somewhere that is right for you.addiction-antibiotic-capsules-360622-1024x682 Steroid Addiction - Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab


In this guide, we will reveal everything that you need to know about a steroids addiction, including information on the signs and side effects of steroid addiction to look out for if you are worried about someone else. We will also provide information on the different sort of treatment options that are available as well as the risks that are associated with steroid use. One thing that makes steroid abuse different from other substance disorders is that individuals who inject steroids are not usually looking to get high from the drug. Instead, you probably started taking steroids because you were looking to improve your physical appearance or you wanted to make physical changes so that could can excel in a certain sport competition. This can sometimes make this addiction more difficult to spot in other people, but Help4Addiction is here if you have any concerns about someone you love. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry!

What exactly are steroids?

There are a number of different types of steroids. However, “anabolic steroids” is the term that is regularly used to describe these sorts of drugs. The anabolic characteristics of a drug mean that it works to boost muscle growth. You may also hear steroids referred to as anabolic-androgenic steroids. The androgenic component is a reference to the ability of the drug to stimulate male characteristics. Steroids have become highly stigmatised in western society. They are typically viewed as dangerous substances that are only utilised by individuals who are attempting to cheat in competition or sport. However, the truth is that most of the people who use steroids are not in competition. From truck drivers to store attendants, there are a lot of people all over the country who are taking steroids, usually to improve their appearance or build muscles, and these individuals are at great risk of becoming addicted.


The term steroid can refer to a number of different substances that have similar chemical structures. For example, vitamin D can be deemed a steroid. However, when we talk about steroids addiction we tend to refer to steroids that have muscle building effects. Anabolic-androgenic steroids, which is what we will refer to as simply steroids in this guide, are related to the male sex hormone testosterone. These steroids, therefore, contribute to the development of male characteristics, for example, aggression, sex drive, muscle mass, and facial hair. Doctors can sometimes prescribe steroids in order to treat muscle loss that has been caused by a disease. However, there are a lot of people that take steroids without having a prescription because they want to change their physical appearance, improve their athletic performance, or boosts their muscle mass. There are a number of different formulations of steroids, for example, liquid, gels, patches, and creams. You can swallow or inject the liquid, use a patch or gel on the skin, or rub the cream into your skin as well.


It is important to stress that you are only permitted to take anabolic steroids in the UK if you have been given a prescription to do so. This is because anabolic steroids are considered a class C drug. It is legal to have steroids for personal use. However it is not legal to export, import, or possess steroids if you are believed to be selling or supplying them. Moreover, the vast majority of sporting organisations have prohibited the use of anabolic steroids and they regularly test competitors for this banned substance


Are steroids addictive?


The short answer to this question is that yes steroids are addictive and there have been a number of studies that show that this is the case. Currently, up to one million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids to change the way they look. This could be anyone from an older person hoping to hang onto youngful youths to a teenager seeking the perfect physique. If you are on this page because you are worried about someone you love; it’s important to recognise that steroids aren’t merely taken by those in sporting competitions. If you’ve noticed a family member or friend becoming image-obsessed, you should keep a careful eye on them.

How addictive is steroids?


In terms of determining how addictive steroids are, it is obviously quite difficult to quantify this because everybody is different. Some people naturally have more addictive personalities than others. However, to get an understanding of how addictive steroids are, we can take a look at some of the laws that have been passed over in the United States. For example, the Anabolic Steroids Control Act was passed in 1990, and this outlawed non-medical utilisation of androgenic anabolic steroids. When this law was put into place, it was deemed that steroids were considered a schedule II controlled substance. This can give us some insight into how addictive steroids are. What this means is that steroids have a higher potential for abuse than schedule IV drugs, for example, Valium and Xanax. However, they have less potential for abuse and schedule I drugs, for example, methamphetamine and ecstasy.


Why is steroids addictive?


So we now need to understand why steroids are addictive. As mentioned earlier, the vast majority of people that take steroids are not trying to seek a high from the drug. They usually want to improve their physical appearance or their physical performance. This highlights some of steroids addictive properties.


Because you want to improve your physical appearance, this can naturally lead to your confidence improving because you like what you see when you look in the mirror and because you get more social attention and recognition. Most of the time people are looking to gain size or mass but they don’t anticipate that there are a lot of other benefits and these benefits are social recognition. Does this sound familiar?


However, this social recognition actually makes steroids addictive because you then begin to crave the praise and attention from others.


This is not the only reason why steroids are considered addictive. There have been a number of different studies have shown that steroids have an influence on the brain’s reward system and this is a characteristic that is linked to a number as other addictive substances.


This is quite easy to understand when you consider that any addiction is going to have some sort of brain reward to it. So logically, there needs to be something that is going on that is rewarding for you to want to keep taking the substance again and again. Do you keep taking steroids because of the social recognition that comes with it? This causes you to feel pleasure from the drug and that is why you have started to crave it.


This is characteristic of addictive drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as alcohol.

Steroids addictive properties


Are you concerned about your son or another young family member? What causes steroids addiction in younger boys? There have also been studies and research that show that adolescent boys and men who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder are likely to misuse steroids. Do you or someone you love spend an excessive amount of time worrying about flaws in your appearance? If so, you could have body dysmorphic disorder. More often than not, these are flaws that are unnoticeable to other people. When it comes to steroids, men and boys that are suffering from this condition can often take steroids because they don’t feel that they are strong enough or physically big enough. Don’t mistakenly believe that you can become fit and healthy if you take anabolic steroids. This is a dangerous drug and it will not improve your health.


Signs of steroids addiction


If you are worried that somebody that you know is suffering from addiction to steroids, there are a number of signs of steroids addiction that you should look out for.


  • Do they complain about pains in their joints a lot?
  • Have they been experiencing hair loss?
  • Do they have bad breath?
  • What about sudden outbreaks of purplish or reddish acne that is unusual for them?
  • Have you noticed drastic appetite changes?
  • What about unusually fast muscle mass growth?
  • Can you see any track marks on the skin from injecting steroids?
  • Does your loved one have unusually greasy or oily skin and hair?
  • Have you noticed emotional and personality changes? If you have noticed that they are irritable and aggressive, this could indicate that they are abusing steroids.
  • What about poor decision-making and extreme mood swings?
  • It is also very common for people with any type of substance abuse to experience changes in their relationships with family members and loved ones.


Am I addicted to steroids?


If you are wondering whether you are addicted to steroids, there are a number of different indicators to look out for and questions to ask yourself.

  • Are you taking the drug differently than prescribed, for example, more often than recommended? If so, this is an indicator that you are addicted.
  • Do you find that you crave the drug or need it more than usual in order to achieve the same effects? This could be another indication of addiction. It shows that you have developed a dependency on the drug, and therefore, you really need to look at how to treat this and stop taking steroids.


Steroids addiction symptoms


There are a number of different symptoms that are associated with taking steroids.


In men, some of the different physical steroids addiction symptoms of taking anabolic steroids include stomach pain, severe acne, increased risk of prostate cancer, breast development, baldness, erectile dysfunction, and shrunken testicles, infertility, and reduced sperm count.


For women, the use of anabolic steroids can result in severe acne, hair loss, problems with periods, and increased sex drive, swelling of the clitoris, loss of breasts, body hair, and facial hair growth.


Not only this, but both men and women who take anabolic steroids are at and much greater risk of suffering from high cholesterol, fluid retention, out blood clots, high blood pressure, kidney or liver failure or problems, stroke, or heart attack.


The impacts of taking steroids cannot only be felt in a physical way but most people will suffer emotional and psychological effects as well. This includes delusions, hallucinations, manic behaviour, paranoia, mood swings, and aggressive behaviour.


For adolescents, anabolic steroids have been linked to stunted growth and this is because they can cause restricted growth and the premature aging of bones when they are used by adolescents who have not yet had their growth spurt associated with puberty.


As is the case with a lot of drugs, anabolic steroids can be injected and this then comes with the risk of sharing needles. These are the same risks that are linked to recreational drug use. This includes HIV transmission, hepatitis C infection, hepatitis B infection, and damage to the veins, which can lead to gangrene or ulcers.


How to beat steroids addiction


So, now let’s look at how to fight steroids addiction. Beating an addiction to steroids on your own can be incredibly difficult to do and is not necessary. There are so many different options out there today for those going through this. You can enter a rehab facility, or you may find that outpatient services and online support are beneficial. It all depends on the level of your addiction and the amount of abuse your body has taken, one thing that is clear is that you would need a drug detox. The best thing to do is talk to an experienced addiction specialist who will listen to you and understand you, explaining all of the different options that are available. This is exactly what you will get at Help4Addiction, feel free to call 0203 955 7700 for immediate advice.


Steroids addiction treatment


There are many different steroids addiction treatment methods available for individuals who are suffering from an addiction to anabolic steroids. Medications can be provided to restore the hormonal system as well as helping individuals to deal with the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. There are also behavioural therapies available as well. The steroids rehab treatment plan that you will follow will depend on the amount of steroid abuse that your body has taken and the level of your addiction. This is why is always advisable to overcome your addiction with the assistance of a trained medical professional.


Steroids rehab process


When coming off steroids, you can experience withdrawal symptoms and this is why it is always advisable to be in a rehab facility where these withdrawal symptoms can be managed. Some of the symptoms you may experience include:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Anorexia
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of anxiety and depression


It is these withdrawal symptoms that can make the addiction so difficult to overcome because individuals often end up going back to the drug because they do not want to experience the symptoms that have been mentioned.

However, if you are treated in a rehab facility, you will be surrounded by professionals who have helped people who did not know how to overcome steroids addiction for many years and are prepared for all of the potential symptoms.

This means that they will know exactly how to reduce these symptoms and how to deal with them effectively. This is a key part of any steroids rehab programs.


Steroids rehab cost


Of course, you will want to know how much it is going to cost if you enter rehab or you send someone you love to rehab. The cost differs significantly depending on the facility you choose, how long you need to stay there, and the treatment that is required. You may find that there are some rehab programs that are suitable for you under the NHS, and so this is something that we can explore further. One thing we recognise at Help4Addiction is that the cost of rehab is one of the main reasons why people do not go. We want you to get the help you need, which is why we work hard to provide you with numerous treatment options so that we can find something that is affordable to you. Don’t dismiss the prospect of going to rehab until you give us a call; you never know what options are out there.


Find a steroids rehab center


There are many steroids rehab centres across the UK and the world. Here at Help4Addiction, our goal is to help you find a rehab centre that is right for your circumstances and is going to give you the best possible chance of fighting your addiction. We have years of experience in the industry and we have relationships with a large number of quality clinics and rehab centers. This not only includes centres in the UK but it also includes facilities in Thailand, Scotland, and parts of Europe. This means that we can easily provide you with a bespoke treatment that is right for you.


There are lots of factors that must be considered when choosing a rehab. We will help you to think about all of these options so that the best place is selected. The location is one of the most important points. Some people prefer to have their friends and family members nearby so that they can provide them with support. However, a lot of people need to have treatment away from their day-to-day life so that they can get away from bad influences and completely focus on their treatment. Of course, the type of treatment that is going to be best suited to your addiction also plays a critical role. There are so many different types of treatments available today, and so we will take a look at the options that are likely to be most effective for your circumstances, and then we will then present all of the different rehabs that provides this treatment. Of course, cost also plays a role, which we discussed in the previous section, and you will want to take a look at what happens once you have finished rehab. Is there a program to help you go back into your daily life without relapsing?


How to get help for steroids addiction


If you are wondering where to get help for steroids addiction, here at Help4Addiction, we are available to provide you with cost-effective and personal treatment options across the UK. We provide independent and free advice on a huge range of treatment solutions for anyone that is suffering from a steroids addiction or any other type of drug, alcohol, or behavioural addiction. Not only do we have rehab treatment centres across the UK, but we also have connections with treatment centres around Europe, Thailand, and South Africa. This means that we are able to advise you on the best possible program considering your situation.


Because we are not a rehab centre ourselves, this means that we are able to provide objective advice and that we have strong relationships with a huge number of specialist and clinics around the world, so that we are always able to provide you with the best treatment options. We do not only provide assistance with choosing a rehab program but we can also help with outpatient and online treatment options too.


Our will goal is to help you to return to a healthy state so that you can start enjoying your life again. We recognise that everyone’s needs are different and that is why we will cater a treatment plan and advice to suit you. We have many years of experience working in the fields of drug addiction, as well as rehabilitation, anxiety, stress, counselling, and alcohol addiction. We understand that the mental well-being of a person can play a massive role in their life.


Our aim is to provide you with all of the support you need to overcome your addiction. You can rest assured that all of the conversations we have will be completely confidential and impartial, and the advice is 100% free. Are experienced professionals promise to treat you with understanding and compassion. If you would like further information and assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can give us a call today to speak to one of our friendly advisors for a completely anonymous and nonjudgmental conversation. The number you need is 0203 955 7700. 


We are here 24/7 to help get you and your recovery on the right path.

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    thumbOur advice will always be led by your needs and is free, confidential and impartial.
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    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.