Whether you are running a single steroid cycle or you are on a stack of steroids, you would have to stop using the drug(s) at some point in time. The time you stop using steroids should normally be based on your recommended steroid cycle.
Typically, steroid cycles can last for between 6 to 12 weeks depending on the training program you intend running, the type of steroids being used, the mode of use (for example, intramuscularly or orally), the dosages, frequency of steroid use, your body weight, gender, age and so on.
Usually, you are expected to commence post-cycle therapy either immediately after you have completed a steroid cycle or some days or weeks after the end of a cycle. This is how to stop steroid use properly and minimise the withdrawal symptoms that you are likely to experience as a consequence of ending a steroid cycle.
Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment
After using steroids for an extended period of time and then you suddenly stop using the steroids, you will experience steroid withdrawal symptoms. The degree of severity of the withdrawal symptoms you experience will largely depend on the doses, frequency of use and the length of time you used the steroid(s).
If you have been using anabolic-steroids for a pretty long period of time, you are likely to display more intense withdrawal symptoms compared to someone that has not used steroids for too long. Also, bodybuilders on their first steroid cycle usually experience withdrawal symptoms that are relatively more serious. There are factors that can influence the intensity or severity of withdrawal symptoms include; gender, age, the type of steroid used, the mode of administration, frequency of use and dosage.
Some common withdrawal symptoms include both physical and mental symptoms, such as:
- Body weakness,
- General fatigue,
- Weight loss,
- Loss of appetite,
- Hypotension or low blood pressure,
- Dizzy spells,
- Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar,
- Abdominal aches and pains,
- Muscle aches and joint pain,
- Headaches and migraines,
- Changes in menstrual cycle,
- Mood swings, and
- Low libido.
Psychological Dependence on Steroids
There are instances where steroid users are actually addicted to using the drugs, not because they get a “high” from their use like in recreational drug use, such as; heroin or cocaine, but rather because of the psychological edge that steroid use gives them.
Steroids can make a regular person feel superhuman and make a narcissistic person feel invincible. Where steroid use is driven by a psychological dependency, then the steroid addict may require some sort of rehabilitation to ensure a quick response to treatment and a successful recovery.
Steroid Withdrawal Treatment
Rehabilitation for steroid withdrawal treatment usually involves a detox program, as the initial step towards recovery. The steroids would need to be eased out of the system of the steroid user which can be a long, painful and emotionally distressing period of time. Detox programs are especially good in a situation where a person has misused, abused or has psychologically dependency on anabolic steroid use.
Steroid withdrawal treatment would also focus on dousing some of the symptoms experienced by the steroid user. For example, headaches and migraines can be treated with pain relievers like paracetamol while antidepressants can be given to patients to help them with their anxiety mental health issues.
Post-Cycle therapy is also a form of recovery from a steroid cycle and becomes necessary in order to regulate your hormonal levels, as steroids suppress your natural testosterone and other hormones production levels. PCT with the administration of drugs like clomid and nolvadex will help to spark up resumption of natural testosterone production while also reducing oestrogen production which is responsible for male boobs in male steroid users.
While PCT is great for regularly maintained steroid cycles (i.e. a steroid cycle of between 6 to 12 weeks for example), it may be less effective in patients that have used steroids over an extensive period of time. In such cases, the patient’s natural testosterone and other hormone production levels may be severely obstructed by the long steroid use that they do not automatically stabilise and maintain normal production even after the steroids are no longer used and PCT.
Such patients would need to be admitted into rehab and placed on hormonal enhancing drugs to help with regulating their natural hormonal levels. In addition, these patients would be carefully monitored and their blood work would be checked on regular intervals to see if their natural hormonal levels have returned to normalcy.
The steroid withdrawal treatment for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can involve the prescription of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy by a mental health professional while hormone therapy can help with the treatment of low libido and infertility.