Once your initial period of withdrawal has ended, addiction treatment will consist mainly of ongoing therapy – either on an inpatient or outpatient basis – to address the issues fueling the steroid abuse and addiction. You may benefit from therapy aimed to improve your self-esteem and help you learn to love yourself and your body, as research shows some people are driven to use steroids as a result of poor body satisfaction and an obsession with muscularity, or a need to get increasingly bigger. If you abuse steroids, you may have experienced these feelings of muscle dysmorphia or “reverse anorexia syndrome.” Feelings of low self-esteem and depression during withdrawal may also be attributed to temporary hypogonadism – or the failure of the gonads (testes or ovaries) to secrete adequate levels of testosterone or estrogen.
Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when they have the chance, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may continue to abuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids' addictive potential. Research has further found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.