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Steroids and Other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APEDs)

What treatments are effective for anabolic steroid misuse?

People who use steroids often do not seek treatment for their use, with one study reporting that 56 percent of users had never told their physician about their use.133 This could be because users feel their physician lacks knowledge about anabolic steroids.133 In addition, many internet sites devoted to anabolic steroids and other APEDs challenge the professionalism of health care providers and offer their own medically questionable advice on the use of APEDs.134 This makes it important for health care providers to be educated on the signs and symptoms of steroid use in their patients.111

Current views recommend that treatment for steroid use address the underlying causes of the steroid use. This can include:

  • psychological therapies (and possibly medications) for muscle dysmorphia
  • endocrine therapies to restore function in those suffering from hypogonadism and to alleviate symptoms of depression
  • antidepressants for those whose depression does not respond to endocrine therapies
  • pharmacological and psychosocial treatments for patients who are also dependent on opioids, which appear to also be effective in alleviating signs of anabolic steroid dependence135

This page was last updated February 2018

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NIDA. (2018, February 21). Steroids and Other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APEDs). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds

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