Are Performance-Enhancing Drugs Addictive?

Are Performance-Enhancing Drugs Addictive?Performance enhancers typically refer to anabolic steroids and precursors like DHEA, but there are several other drugs that Philadelphia athletes may use illicitly to gain a competitive edge, including the following:

  • Stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall that provide focus and energy
  • Sedatives like Valium and Xanax to calm nerves and steady hands
  • Painkillers like Vicodin to allow athletes to perform through pain
  • Blood boosters like EPO to enhance endurance for sports like cycling

All of these drugs are addictive on some level, either physically, psychologically or both.

Risks for Philadelphia Athletes Using Performance Enhancers

Steroids are the quintessential performance enhancer, and they pose serious health risks to Philadelphia users, including the following:

  • Delusions, paranoia and psychiatric illness
  • Loss of connection with the consensus reality
  • Increased rate of depression and suicide
  • Sudden aggressive and angry mood shifts
  • Serious damage to organs and bone joints
  • Spikes in blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Undesired changes in physical appearance
  • HIV risks when sharing needles

People who take steroids often take other drugs as well. The other drugs might have their own performance benefits, but sometimes are taken to self-medicate the side effects of steroids, including the following:

  • Sedatives to moderate fluctuating mood levels
  • Painkillers to relieve muscle and joint pain
  • Benzodiazepines to relieve stress and anxiety
  • Various drugs to suppress mental health issues

Addiction and mental illness are both neurobiological diseases, and they are often co-occurring conditions.

 Mental Health and Performance Drugs

There are several different ways in which mental health issues and performance-enhancing drugs can be interconnected, including the following:

  • The addiction triggered or accelerated a previously dormant mental health problem
  • Mood issues like depression motivated the competitive drive behind the drug abuse
  • An already existing disorder amplified the side effects of the performance enhancers
  • A misguided notion that physical prowess will help relieve emotional suffering triggered use

The role of mental illness underscores the fact that performance-enhancing drug abuse is not limited to professional athletes. Several factors can motivate people to take performance drugs for illicit reasons, including mood disorders and unresolved trauma.  Philadelphia residents using performance-enhancing drugs should be aware of their potential dangers and health risks, both to the body and to the mind.

Professional Addiction Rehabilitation for Philadelphia Residents

When breaking an addiction, the person must detoxify the body of the abused substance. With steroids, the body develops a dependency and decreases its natural steroid production, which is why many rehab centers gradually taper off the drug use for a safer and more comfortable withdrawal. Rehab also promotes recovery with numerous potential therapies, including the following:

  • Mental health screenings and integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Psychodynamic therapy to address unconscious conflicts and past trauma
  • Behavioral therapies that improve the way a person processes information
  • Counseling to identify drug use triggers and ways to avoid them
  • Holistic options to reduce pain naturally and encourage recovery
  • Group therapy to break down denial and build support structures

Professional rehab can also provide care for any physical health problems stemming from the substance abuse.

Steroid Addiction Helpline

If you or a loved one in Philadelphia is abusing performance-enhancing drugs, our counselors can help. We are available 24 hours a day to discuss interventions, warning signs and treatment options. Many health insurance policies cover rehab, and we can check your policy for benefits. Our addiction helpline is toll-free, so please call now.