Find a way to combat your dependence on steroids with advice and support from the experts at Delamere wellness retreat
Thanks to the pressure of social media, more people are worried about the way they look than ever before. Images of toned muscles and perfect bodies are an unachievable goal for many, and this is leading to an increase in steroid addiction, especially among young men.
There are two main types of steroids: corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Both are synthetic drugs designed to replicate the hormones cortisol and testosterone, respectively.
Anabolic steroids are class C drugs that can only be taken with a prescription. They’re typically abused by athletes, body builders and weightlifters who want to enhance performance, appear stronger and ‘bulk up’. However, there is a growing trend of young people who struggle with body dysmorphia taking steroids to escape negative feelings about their own physique. Whilst taking anabolic steroids might make you feel fitter, abusing them over a long period can have dangerous consequences.
At Delamere wellness retreat in the heart of Cheshire, we are experts at treating all kinds of drug addiction and can offer the support you need. Our holistic therapists can help you understand the psychological reasons for your steroid addiction and develop coping strategies to reduce your reliance on drugs while building your self-esteem.
If you think your steroid addiction is out of control, contact our team today and learn more about the different programmes we offer here at Delamere.
Whether taken orally, injected or applied topically, around 32% of people who misuse anabolic steroids become dependent (1). If a person gets used to taking steroids on a regular basis, their body and mind will adapt to them in order to function efficiently, leading to a steroid addiction. Signs that someone is abusing steroids include:
Skin problems e.g. acne
Greasy hair or hair loss
Being forgetful or hiding things
Aggression or ‘roid rage’
Violent mood swings
Paranoia and hallucinations
High blood pressure
Anabolic steroids work by imitating the effect of the naturally occurring male sex hormone, testosterone. That’s why you’ll often find men and women who abuse steroids rapidly gain weight or muscle mass, develop larger breasts, more facial hair, and a deeper voice. Aside from the physical differences in someone with a steroid addiction, you may also notice them being surrounded by the paraphernalia that comes with abusing steroids, such as hypodermic needles or small plastic bags.
It’s easy to assume that steroid addiction only affects athletes and extreme gym goers. But people who suffer from low-self esteem and skewed body image are often the most susceptible to steroid addiction. Young people and those who have experienced sexual abuse are particularly vulnerable.
Abusers of anabolic steroids often try different methods of consumption to try to reduce any potential side effects. Cycling involves taking steroids for a defined period with regular breaks to help the body recover. Stacking is when a person uses multiple types of steroids to achieve maximum effects. While Pyramiding means gradually building up the steroid dose to a peak and then slowly tapering off. However, the negative side effects from chronic steroid use are hard to avoid.
In the short-term, steroid addiction can cause infertility and sexual dysfunction, severe mood swings, hair loss and general aches and pains. Long-term side effects are more serious and may include heart attack or stroke, liver disease, blood clots and damage to reproductive organs.
Anabolic steroids increase serotonin and dopamine levels – the regions of the brain associated with pleasure and reward. Chronic use disrupts the function of these pathways, which is why anxiety and depression are common withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking steroids (2). These are the most dangerous problems as they can lead to suicide attempts. Other withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, difficulty concentrating, extreme tiredness and anorexia.
As with other illicit drugs, anabolic steroids come with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them. Therefore, the first part of any treatment programme should include a medical drug detox which will help to reduce cravings safely under observation. At this point you will likely be given medication to balance out hormones and prevent any complications. You may also be given antidepressants to combat the psychological effects of withdrawal and NSAIDs, such as aspirin, for pain relief.
If your steroid addiction is the result of a mental health condition, such as body dysmorphia, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) may be used to help work through your issues and improve your self-esteem. A residential rehab programme can be beneficial to keep you away from temptations and triggers while you begin your recovery.
Even though steroids don’t produce a euphoric effect, they can be just as addictive as any other drug. Delamere has a team of holistic experts who can help you overcome steroid addiction in the safety and comfort of our purpose-built forest retreat. Every residential rehab programme begins with a clinical detox to help you withdraw from steroids with minimum distress. We will tailor medication and nutritional supplements to suit your individual needs.
You will be assigned a focal therapist to help you understand the reason for your steroid addiction and develop strategies to avoid a relapse when you return home. Through a combination of one-to-one counselling, group therapy and somatic healing techniques, we will help you to boost your confidence, respect your body and take control of your life.
Our unique three-stage approach is designed to treat mind, body and soul. With medication and mindfulness we will help you stop cravings, start the healing process and grow beyond your steroid addiction.
Our Stop Start Grow model is a refreshing approach to treatment and is what makes recovery at Delamere different. Our goal is always to give you the mindset and tools to grow beyond addiction and live life on your terms once you leave us.
Settle into your new environment
and remove yourself from
Spend time with our therapists to discover what led you to this behaviour in the first placeDelamere treatment model
Set healthy boundaries,
exciting new goals and prepare for
life after Delamere
We believe that drug addiction, whether stemming from a need to manage stress or escape problems – stems from somewhere. Rather than adhering to the conventional step-based programmes, we look at underlying factors that drive your behaviour. Only by recognising how you arrived at this point can you begin to positively shape your future.
Stopping the cycle of addiction safely and comfortably
pain is causing
Instilling tools to help facilitate change and encourage continued growth
Martin Preston, Founder & CEO at Delamere
If yourself, or a friend, family member or work colleague is struggling with steroid addiction, it’s important they get help.
Our admissions team is on hand 24/7 to help answer any questions about our clinical detox programmes and make sure your loved one gets the support they need.
Call the team today on 0330 111 2015 to discuss the different options available.
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