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Steroid addiction is a large problem, particularly in the professional and college sports world. Most of these addicts take steroids not for a high but for their performance enhancing properties. This does not make them any less addictive. Those who take them regularly will have a difficult time stopping. They will also experience withdrawal. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are a few steroid addiction treatment options for those who need them.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
There are outpatient programs for steroid addiction. These programs are good for those that need to continue their studies or jobs while they are in treatment. They attend therapy and drug treatment sessions at an outpatient clinic. These sessions may be daily, weekly, or monthly.
Inpatient Treatment Programs
Inpatient programs are residential programs. You stay at a treatment facility while you recover from the addiction. Inpatient treatment programs offer a wide range of therapies and medication options. Depending on the steroid you’re on, you might go through a severe withdrawal and need a medical detox. They can do this at an inpatient center if needed.
Inpatient programs have:
- Medication management
- Individual and group counseling
- Medical observation
- 24 hour services
Many of the professional athletes who are also steroid addicts opt for inpatient treatment on the off season. It is far easier to stay away from a drug if you are in a closed environment away from the things that tempt you to use the drug.
Supportive therapy is similar to what it sounds like. Doctors and counselors offer support for the symptoms of withdrawal and other issues that may accompany steroid use. These issues are:
- Testicle shrinkage
- Breast development in men
- Increased risk of prostate cancer
- Facial hair in women
- Changes in the menstrual cycle in women
- Deepened voice
- Mood swings
- Stunted growth
- Extreme aggression
The extreme aggression is one of the more difficult symptoms to deal with. Many people who take steroids suffer from this issue. One of the more common reasons to seek treatment is due to the violence that people exhibit while on steroids. This violent behavior can cause someone to commit a crime that they ordinarily would not. There are people who are in jail due to this behavior caused by steroids.
Hormonal therapies are relatively new when it comes to addiction treatment. The majority of them involve using replacement hormones to compensate for the damage done by steroids. Most of these are only to correct issues caused by the use of steroids and not to correct the mental condition that caused the steroid use originally.