Can Rehab Help Those Addicted to Performance Enhancing Drugs? In the sports world, those using performance enhancing drugs are often looked down on as cheating or being poor competitors. There can be an underlying issue however, as these can become addictive over time. Steroids are some of the most common drugs found in sports, with these supplements making their way into gyms and training facilities. While some may see them as a way to bulk up for a season or push their boundaries, they can become addicted. Withdrawal from these drugs can be dangerous, as they cause mood swings, cravings and a wide range of other side effects. Hormonal enhancements can also have this kind of effect, they’re less risky because they naturally occur within the body but they do create a serious imbalance in the body. Using testosterone based agents means that the body becomes less adept at synthesising it for itself. This makes the comedown from using these full time can cause the user to experience depression and a range of mental health issues. The subject of doping is talked about a lot in sports commentary and celebrity gossip, with some stars caught out by the media. Even world champions have been stripped of titles because of their use of these drugs. Cycling in particular saw the fall from grace of Lance Armstrong when he lost his medals as a result of failing a drugs test.
Just like the drug addicts you think of in the real world, athletes with drug problems also need support to be made available to them. Drug addiction is very rarely an isolated problem and can appear as the symptom of a much greater problem. The way we see drugs in the media can promote them as glamorous or even aspirational, as shows like Breaking Bad attest to. The reality of the situation is that the addict most likely realises that they are abusing the substance and this leads to a spiral of depression. Rehab for performance enhancing drugs focuses on the need for success at any cost and the mental processes behind the desire. Often, athletes have been groomed from a young age to succeed and always come in first place – obviously this is a generalisation but it rings true for many competitive athletes and sports players. Doping can be seen as a way to make this more possible, especially for those looking to break into a scene or for those looking to hold onto a title later in their career.
This is a learned behaviour, just like any other drug addiction but our society doesn’t seem to take it seriously. There’s a ‘name and shame’ policy around those that are caught doping, but this doesn’t tackle the issue. This can even make things worse for the addict and even encourage them to move onto harder drugs. Anyone struggling with a drug addiction of any kind requires our help and support, not just our scorn. Unfortunately, athletes with this addiction can quickly slip lower into the addiction without help from professionals.