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Mixing Steroids and Opioids

The mixture of performance enhancing drugs and painkillers has come to represent a significant public health threat, not only for professional athletes, but for teens and young adults as a whole.

There have been persistent reports of anabolic steroid and other performance enhancing drug abuse among amateur and professional athletes for many years. The use of these substances is now affecting not only athletes, but anyone in a job that requires physical performance and endurance. While anabolic steroids and other drugs can enhance performance and improve appearance for some individuals, they are dangerous and can cause long-lasting, sometimes irreversible health problems.

Use of these substances has been related to early heart attacks, stroke, liver tumors, kidney failure, serious psychiatric illnesses, and addiction. In addition, people who use steroids by injection increase their risk for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, skin infections, and endocarditis (an infection of the heart).

Anabolic steroids have also been linked to dramatic changes in behavior. Case studies have reported increased irritability and aggression among abusers, especially at higher dosages. Some of the abusers have engaged in aggressive physical acts like vandalism, assault, burglary, and armed robbery.

Physical Risks of Mixing Steroids and Opioids

The rigors of physical activity often lead to chronic pain which many individuals elect to treat with prescription opioid painkillers. Mixing steroids and opioids can exacerbate the effects of each drug and lead to considerable physical complications, such as:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Further chronic pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Mood swings and chronic depression
  • Erratic and violent behavior
  • Headache
  • Stroke

The tragic irony is that many who take steroids to improve their physical performance often wind up needing some level of pain medication to manage the chronic pain and physical trauma that their bodies have sustained.

Quality Treatment for Combined Steroid and Opioid Abuse

Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches' facilities are well-equipped to treat simultaneous abuse of steroids and opioids. The process starts with professional detox to arrest any immediate physical symptoms and prevent further complication. After patients complete a thorough detox, they are provided with a customized rehab plan which will help them explore the underlying issues of confidence, self-awareness, and pressure with which they’re faced.

The use of steroids may lead to strokes, heart attacks, violent behavior and irritability. When mixed with a painkiller (or opioid), the effects of each drug are exacerbated, potentially leading to several health conditions. The use of steroids to improve physical ability often leads to the use of opioids to help manage chronic pain, creating a dangerous cycle.

If you’re ready to change you or your loved one's life, contact us at (888) 432-2467 to get started today!

Infographic: Mixing Steroids and Opioids

Infographic warning about the increase of opioid abusers also abusing steroids at the same time.
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Sources: 

New England Journal of Medicine