Teen Steroid Abuse treatment refers to the illegal use of anabolic-androgenic steroids, most commonly used by males to help them achieve an overly muscular, bulked-up appearance. This type of steroid abuse has gained a lot of public attention recently in professional sports in athletes who have illegally used in order to enhance their performance. “Anabolic” refers to the drug’s effect on building muscle, while “androgenic” refers to the drug’s effect of creating male like characteristics in users. These two distinctions of anabolic-androgenic steroids are what make them dangerous and also set them apart from others, such as cortisol, progesterone, or estrogen. These steroids are most often synthetic, or man-made, substances that are similar to the male hormone, testosterone. Because of this, the steroids can significantly disrupt normal development of and levels of the natural hormones in the body, especially in teens. Teen Steroid Abuse is especially prominent among male athletes involved in competitive sports.
Some of the more common anabolic-androgenic steroids abused by teens include, but are not limited to:
Street names for the substances include “juice” and “roids.” Steroids usually come in pill form but can also be injected directly into the muscle.
Because steroids have an effect so similar to testosterone, the most dangerous risks of the drugs consist of the ways in which they accelerate puberty and related changes and result in permanently stunted growth because of premature skeletal growth. In other words, the steroids force the body to develop and grow in ways that it’s not yet ready to grow; though they might achieve their goals in the short-term, they can permanently disrupt proper development and growth in the long-term. This is also why Teen Steroid Abuse is so much more detrimental than that of grown adults, since adults’ bodies have already finished growing.
In addition to these severe developmental risks, steroid abuse can also result in kidney and liver damage, cardiovascular problems including enlargement of the heart, and change in blood pressure and cholesterol that can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Additionally, because they effect the brain’s secretion of neurotransmitters, steroids can also cause severe mood swings, manic-like episodes, severe irritability, Depression, paranoia, and impaired judgment.
There are also a number of negative effects specific to each gender. In males, steroids can lead to: baldness, infertility, development of breasts, shrinking of testicles, and increased risk of prostate cancer. And in females, steroids can lead to: male-pattern baldness, growth of facial hair, changes in menstrual cycle, enlargement of female parts, and permanently deepened voice.
Teen Steroid Abuse Treatment is important in cases of repetitive use and/or addiction to the substances. In some cases, these steroids can become addictive to teens and furthermore, the teens can experience serious symptoms of withdrawal, once they do cease using them. One of the most prominent withdrawal symptoms are severe feelings of depression, sometimes even leading to risk of suicide. Beyond this, teens might also experience insomnia, fatigue, restlessness, and loss of appetite.
Because withdrawal from the substance can include these symptoms, it’s important for teens to have professional oversight and support to ensure their mental and physical health, while their bodies are detoxing from the substance. This is one of the primary and fundamental aspects of Teen Steroid Abuse Treatment. Once teens are stabilized, treatment can proceed to include helping the teens to address the underlying causes for them abusing in the first place. These causes can include thought patterns, false belief systems, pressure from peers, feelings of insecurity and/or anxiety, and beyond. By supporting teens to evaluate what led to their continued use, even despite risks of their well-being, teens can go beyond just recovering from use of the substance. Furthermore, teens can learn about themselves, which stressors and conflicts are present in their lives, how they respond to stress, what they believe about themselves, and they can access resources in order to more healthily deal with stress in the future. Therefore, the treatment process, by addressing these underlying issues, supports teens to correct similar behaviors in the future, even when faced with similarly stressful situations. In this sense, Teen Steroid Abuse Treatment not only helps teens get sober, but also prepares them to remain sober in the future and to make positive decisions moving forward.
If you suspect that your teen is using illegal steroids but denies it, you may be faced with the difficult decision of having them tested by a doctor. Even though, in the short-term, this may cause tension between you and your teen, the bottom line is the risk of steroid abuse is so severe that you need to be sure. If they weren’t using, you can now have peace of mind, and they’ll get over their annoyance at getting tested. And if they were using, now you can support them to get help.