Despite the fact that Blake has 18 months of solid sobriety under his belt and dedicates a generous majority of his free time to recovery and involvement in the program, he still struggles with body image – an area that most American youths seem to grapple with at one point or another. Blake started taking steroids about 4 months ago to increase his performance at the gym, convincing himself that although he has to keep his steroid use a secret from his friends, family members, and sponsor, steroid use is not a relapse. He justifies his use by stating that steroids are not mind are mood altering – despite the fact that he often finds his temper to be significantly shorter than it used to be, and loses it quite often. However, if Blake steps back and asks himself if is he lying to those closest to him, obtaining drugs illegally, and doing them in secret, and if he answers “yes” – he may want to consider whether or not this behavior is consistent with his recovery goals and lifestyle objectives.
Are Steroids Addictive?
Because many men and women continue using steroids despite negative personal consequences, it has been evidenced that anabolic steroids can definitely be addictive. Regardless of any physical issues that may develop in conjunction with social issues that may potentially arise (concern from loved ones, excessive time and money spent obtaining and using drugs), many steroid users will continue using, focused exclusively on perfecting external appearance. Individuals who engage in prolonged steroid use are extremely likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they cease use, such as restlessness, fatigue, mood swings, loss of appetite, reduced sex drive, insomnia, and cravings. In extreme cases, steroid withdrawal has lead to attempted suicide because the mood swings tend to be so intense. If left of untreated, the depressive tendencies that go hand-in-hand with anabolic steroid use may last up to a year or longer.
Is Using Steroids a Relapse?
This is a highly controversial topic, for many recovering addicts actively use steroids while many do consider steroid use a relapse and completely stay away. It is important to look at intentions and motivations, and consider the ways in which the behavior itself resembles ways in which you used your initial drug of choice. If you are obsessing, experiencing compulsive behaviors, or acting exceedingly secretive about your use, you may want to consult your sponsor or share in your homegroup. If this is not an option – you may want to reconsider how conducive your steroid use is to your recovery.