There are several uses for steroids and a large variety of steroid drugs both on the market and on the streets. Under medical supervision, prescribed steroids can be used for many reasons: to stimulate appetite, to treat inflammation, to grow bones, to treat cancer, or induce male puberty.
Anabolic steroids are the most commonly misused steroids, and people often abuse use them to enhance athletic performance and strength, despite clearly documented dangers and punishments associated with illegal steroid use.
A large amount of steroids can lead to overdose, which is what happens when the body is overloaded with too many toxic chemicals. Generally, the symptoms of steroid overdose are not always fatal, but certain side effects of an overdose can dramatically impact both short-term and long-term health.
The top five most dangerous symptoms of steroid overdose include:
- Trembling muscles and convulsions
- Elevated blood pressure and body temperature
- Heart attack
You may not have been aware of these other alarming side effects of steroid use, though.
These side effects can be long-lasting and devastating to anyone who experiences them:
- Extreme nervousness or anxiety
- Aggressive, hostile and violent behavior
- Muscle weakness
- Burning or itching skin
Seek immediate help if you misuse steroids and begin experiencing these problems, as they may lead to more fatal or permanent issues.
Risks of Steroid Abuse and Overdose
Regular steroid abuse interferes with the function of the adrenal glands, as well as dopamine, serotonin and opioid receptors in the brain. People who abuse steroids experience a “crash” once they come down from a steroid high. This crash can cause extreme shifts in mood and energy levels, all while triggering depression, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, apathy, sleep problems, angry outbursts, and paranoia.
Over time, steroid abuse can cause severe, even irreversible health problems, such as liver damage, kidney damage, high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and anaphylactic and septic shock.
Steroid overdose and abuse can also cause permanent brain damage: long-term anabolic steroids abuse can damage the brain’s spatial functioning, which deals with information processing and memory.
Cognitive impairment, forgetfulness, the inability to concentrate and the increased risk of mental health illness are all common side effects of steroid abuse and overdose.
How to Handle a Steroid Overdose
If you or someone else shows signs of a steroid overdose, call 911 or a poison control center immediately. Drug toxicity can spike within minutes, making what seems like a controllable situation can become fatal very quickly. If you or a loved one has recently been treated for a drug overdose, or if you are worried that an overdose may happen, we can help.
Our staff are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions, provide you with information and to connect you with the resources you need to get your life back on track. The best plan is to be proactive and get help today by calling 844-496-9429.
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.