One avenue of alternative recovery therapy people turn towards is physical fitness. Getting back in shape, pushing oneself to be the best one can be, and even building muscle mass (body building) can help to keep sobriety. Sometimes, one may become obsessed with getting bigger and better and turn towards steroids to help build body mass. The question then becomes, are you sober if you use steroids in recovery?
Before answering this question, you need to understand what steroids are, what their intended use is, and if a prescription is needed to get them.
What Are Steroids?
Steroids are drugs, synthetic testosterone used to imitate the natural male hormone. Most often, teens take steroids to induce delayed puberty, adults treat impotence, and steroids treat the wasting of muscle due to disease. It is common to hear someone who has been sick for a long time has been given a steroid by his or her doctor.
While steroids promote the growth of muscle mass, it also develops male sexual characteristics in people who use the drug, both males and females. These characteristics include violent and aggressive behavior when steroids are abused.
So, the question remains, are you sober if you use steroids in recovery?
Are You Sober If You Use Steroids in Recovery?
Steroids can be used in recovery if prescribed by a doctor and taken for a short time as directed for a health problem, not for competitive muscle building. The problem is, most people who use steroids are using them to alter their body and usually without a prescription.
So, the answer to the question, are you sober if you use steroids in recovery, is no. Any drug taken to alter your mood or enhance your performance in any way, is not sobriety. Taking a steroid because you have a medical condition that requires the drug to heal you, is sobriety when taken as directed.
But steroids, like any other drug, can be abused and lead to addiction.
Causes of Steroid Addiction
When asked why one abused steroids, the common response was to improve athletic performance. Second common response is to increase muscle size or reduce body fat. Does this sound familiar? Many meth and cocaine addicts abuse their drug of choice to increase focus, energy, and sometimes to lose weight.
Addiction to steroids does not differ from an addiction to other drugs. It begins with a distorted perception of reality and a wish to see fast results without the hard work. Sometimes, the hard work is resting to allow your body to rebuild muscle. With the meth addict, they also need rest to feel more energized, not another dose of drugs.
But instead of turning towards much needed rest to see the desired results, some people turn towards drugs of all kinds despite the indications of a problem.
Signs of Steroid Addiction
Signs of steroid addiction are like the signs of other drug and alcohol addictions.
- Using steroids despite negative consequences in relationships, finances, or health.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using steroids.
- Hiding steroid use from counselors, doctors, and family or friends.
- Engaging in risky or illegal activities to get more steroids.
- Unwillingness to discuss steroid use when asked directly.
While many of these signs are self-explanatory, withdrawal symptoms as related to steroid use is explained as some signs can be missed or confused with normal shifts in behavior caused by stress.
Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms
Steroid abuse is often first noticed when the user has withdrawal symptoms. Those symptoms can include depression, mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite, reduced sex drive, and cravings for more steroids. Depression is the most serious as it can lead to suicidal thoughts. Some people report attempting suicide due to the extreme depression after steroid use which can last more than a year.
Along with suicidal thoughts, people in withdrawal may turn towards other substances to relieve the discomfort. For those already in recovery, this can be deadly. Overdose is common when someone who has gained sobriety uses again because he or she no longer has the same tolerance for drugs.
If you or someone you know in recovery is abusing steroids or in withdrawal from steroid abuse, please seek treatment.
Treatment for Steroid Addiction
The intensity of your addiction will decide the level of support you need to regain sobriety. Outpatient treatment is successful if severe depression is not an issue. Otherwise, inpatient care or hospitalization may be required.
During treatment, your doctor may prescribe medication to restore your hormonal balance. If withdrawal symptoms are severe, your doctor may also prescribe analgesics for muscle and joint pain or headaches. If you are prescribed medications, these medications will be monitored and only used as a temporary support to help your body work normally without steroids.
Regardless of medical intervention, anyone suffering from steroid withdrawal should receive behavioral therapy to discuss the underlying reason for drug abuse. Physical therapy is available while in treatment to continue your fitness regimen, but sponsors and counselors will help you find a healthy balance in your routine.
Ready for Treatment?
The question of are you sober if you use steroids in recovery is not as complicated as some may think. Steroids used under the supervision of a doctor to treat a medical condition falls under sobriety. Steroids used to enhance or reduce body size is not sobriety and falls under drug abuse.
If you find yourself in the latter category and want to find help, call Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616. Addiction specialists are standing by to help you get treatment. You will not be criticized for relapsing on steroids. Instead, you will find a supportive community ready to help you find sobriety.
Addiction specialists will verify your insurance for free or discuss our affordable payment plans for those without coverage. Don’t delay your recovery, call (561)-770-6616 now.