Are Performance-Enhancing Drugs Addictive?

Are Performance-Enhancing Drugs Addictive?Using performance-enhancing drugs (PED) used to be a sports issue. As long as sports prohibited some substances, elite and professional athletes have broken those rules. Unfortunately, using these dangerous substances has become common among athletes at all levels. As the PED problem moves from professional arenas to high school gyms, Ohio residents need professional help to overcome addiction.

Why People Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Ohio athletes may use the following drugs to improve their performances:

  • Steroids. The body uses these hormones to regulate growth and healing. Artificially boosting these chemicals make the body build muscle and recover faster from injuries and workouts.
  • Erythropoietin. This medicine promotes endurance by causing the body to produce more red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the muscles
  • Stimulants. These drugs raise heart rate and blood pressure by exciting the nervous system. Athletes feel a boost of energy and endurance. Cocaine and caffeine are stimulants, but athletes typically abuse prescription stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall.

Because these drugs have medical uses, their negative side effects have been studied, from mood changes and heart failure, even at recommended doses.

Are Stimulants Addictive?

Stimulants are the only PED that also carry significant potential for addiction. These drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine, create a psychological high on top of the physical benefits, so Ohio athletes may use these drugs to run faster, but then become addicted to the feeling they create.

However, even the PEDs that do not produce an enjoyable high can be part of a compulsive disorder. The psychological side of addiction involves doing something repeatedly, even when someone realizes the behavior causes or threatens harm. This could be harm to an Ohio user’s health, relationships or other aspects of wellbeing. A similar compulsion that does not involve an addictive substance is sometimes called a process addiction, and using PEDs can be a part of a process addiction.

Risk Factor for More Drugs

A 2009 study published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that male college athletes who use PEDs were also more likely to abuse marijuana, prescription pain medication, cocaine and psychedelic drugs like LSD. PEDs are gateway drugs, but positive attitudes about using one kind of drug may make it easier to begin using another.

Testing for PEDs is beginning to become more rigorous at amateur levels of completion. Punitive actions of getting caught cheating can immediately disrupt any addiction. Counseling can help PED users reexamine their motivations and rebuild their athletic standing. Because PED use is also a risk factor for addictions to stimulants or other addictive drugs, Ohio users should engage in a complete assessment of substance problems and begin a treatment program that can comprehensively address their needs.

Ohio Addiction Help

If you or an Ohio loved one abuses performance enhancing drugs, then don’t wait for time to run out. Counselors are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline to discuss options for cleaning up your game and recovering from addiction. The call is confidential, so seek help today and recover from addiction.