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Steroid Overdose

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Fit man taking steroids

In general, there are two kinds of steroid drugs:

  • Corticosteroids, which are used for medical issues.
  • Anabolic steroids, which may also have indications for medical use, but are often misused to improve strength, appearance, and athletic performance.

Both types of steroids can be misused, and excess dosing can lead to overdose and/or progressive mental and physical health effects.


Signs and Symptoms of Steroid Overdose

Corticosteroids and anabolic steroids are very different. Corticosteroids function similarly to cortisol—a naturally occurring hormone produced in our adrenal glands —and they ar e used to alter immune and inflammatory responses 1.


What to do in Case of Steroid Overdose

The first thing to do if you think a person may be experiencing a steroid overdose is get them medical help. In the case of a corticosteroid overdose, call 911 right away. The faster a person receives medical help, the better their chances of survival.

If the person is slowly overdosing on anabolic steroids, professional substance abuse treatment is the best option for their health and survival. Chronic anabolic steroid overdose may not seem like a medical emergency, but it can eventually result in serious consequences to a person’s mental and physical health.


Prevention

If you have been prescribed corticosteroids, the best way to avoid overdose is to only take the medication according to your physician’s guidelines and report any alarming side effects or concerns that you have. Use of steroids outside of professional medical guidelines can result in serious medical repercussions.

If you’re taking anabolic steroids, you could be severely damaging your health over time. To avoid the development of dangerous symptoms, avoid ANY use of anabolic steroids. If you’re finding yourself unable to stop taking anabolic steroids, consider substance abuse treatment.

Treatment can help you learn how to cope with your compulsions to use this damaging substance and may address any mental health issues that may be contributing to use of these drugs, such as body dysmorphic disorder. A structured treatment program can also help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that may be difficult to cope with alone

Doctor having serious conversation with male patient

A structured treatment program can also help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that may be difficult to cope with alone 3:

  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness.
  • Lowered appetite.
  • Insomnia.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Depression.
  • Suicidal ideation.

These can be especially problematic as the user is coping with the extreme mood swings brought on by the abuse itself. Suicide is a major risk factor for recovering steroid abusers 3.

Certain treatment facilities may also be able to help restore a steroid user to hormonal balance with hormone therapy, which can help reduce or reverse adverse side effects of long-term abuse 3.

Steroid abuse treatment can also help a person understand why they began abusing the drug in the first place and find effective coping strategies for when they face future temptations to use steroids. Identifying underlying reasons for the abuse is a major part of recovery, and professional treatment can help a person find better ways to address these underlying issues without turning back to drugs. For help finding a treatment program, call us today at .


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Lauren Brande, MA, has dedicated her life to psychological research. She started off her career with a scholarship from the Western Psychological Association for her undergraduate work in perceptual processing. In 2014, she achieved her master of arts in psychology from Boston University, harnessing a particular interest in the effects that drugs and trauma have on the functioning brain.

She believes that all research should be accessible and digestible, and her passion fuels her desire to share important scientific findings to improve rehabilitation.

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