According to the research held by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (the United States of America) in 2015, 86.4% of 18-year-old respondents confirmed that they had tried alcohol earlier and the shocking number – 56 percent of questioned people said they had drunk it several days or weeks before the survey. You can legally buy alcohol in the USA if you are already 21. Many cultures take drinking alcoholic beverages (spirits) for granted. That is why people tend to abuse this substance, which leads to unpleasant consequences. These consequences may be even worse in the case of a combination of alcohol and anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroids and alcohol
What are steroids? These are substances of hormonal nature, which are produced in the body.
There are following types of steroids
- Corticosteroids: Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, Corticosterone, Prednisolone, and others.
- Androgenic (male) sex hormones: Androsterone, Testosterone, Methyltestosterone
- Estrogenic (female) sex hormones: Estrone, Estradiol, and others.
Many synthetic hormones of steroid nature are used in sports, mainly in strength sports, including bodybuilding. For example, anabolics, whose formal name is anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), are used for enhancing sports results. Athletes commonly use steroids, containing testosterone, for increasing muscle mass, developing muscle definition and decreasing belly fat. What is more, steroids are often used by celebrities. For instance, does Dwayne Johnson take steroids? Most probably, he does. The same goes for Zac Efron. Anabolic steroids allow you to get a good physical shape in a short time. That’s why many athletes and actors resort to using these powerful drugs. But the use of steroids is associated with a risk of some serious adverse effects.
According to the comparison of alcohol and anabolic steroid abuse rates, the latter is much less addictive. Another factor to be considered is a number of people using these substances. Alcohol is highly pervasive among the population while 0.5 % of adults have used that or another steroid form (they buy testosterone, Oxymetholone, Deca, and the like). In spite of these drastic differences in abuse potential and rate of use, the combined application of the substances presents a real risk for people’s health.
What makes people mix alcohol & anabolic steroids?
Let’s consider possible reasons. First, you can accidentally mix these substances. You may be prescribed to use steroids for treating certain diseases, in particular, sciatica, asthma or hay fever. While hanging out with friends somewhere you just forget about it and drink some wine or beer. In another case, you are forced by social pressure to visit the gym, after which you try to relieve stress in the bar. The main problem is that you may not consider such mixing dangerous. As American Fitness Professionals and Associates report, steroids (steroid injection or pills) make us feel good (our mood elevates). However, this action is temporary and when it disappears, we become depressive. Decreasing of mood is known as “estrogen rebound” because estrogen responds to the testosterone increase. Suffering from this depressive state, we try to find the solution in alcohol. Sometimes we even forget about the frames. Moreover, using steroids on a regular basis can even cause the constant need for alcohol. Consequently, a vicious cycle is created. In spite of tolerant public attitude towards abusing alcoholic drinks when experiencing problems, it is not the best choice for those who suffer from estrogen rebound.
Possible consequences of mixing alcohol and anabolic steroids
According to the research published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, wine and beer consumption leads to hormone levels change and estrogen enhancement. In such a state, a person feels their mood worsened which urges them to resort to steroid application to improve it. Those who use steroids and alcohol in combination do not even realize that they are gradually becoming dependent on these substances. Using steroids in dosages prescribed by a healthcare professional and under his thorough supervision is considered relatively safe if not take into account possible side effects, which are typically caused by any medication. Similarly, drinking alcohol in moderate amount is not associated with serious risks for health. However, serious health deterioration is a predicted consequence of these substances abuse. If people mix them, they inevitably put their mental and physical health condition at risk primarily because of extremely high toxicity of this combination, which is harmful to liver.
According to the research held by The National Institute on Drug Abuse, permanent steroid taking can lead to the problem of liver and kidney destruction. These organs are very negatively affected by the alcohol power in people, who overindulge alcohol. That is why the damage that steroids mixed with alcohol can cause is much bigger.
In addition to deteriorating physical health, a mixture of alcohol and steroids can cause psychological adverse events manifested in such mental states as mania and psychosis. This impact tends to last for a long time. Because of a short-term course of steroid application, an individual’s mood becomes changeable to such an extent that notorious “roid rage” can develop.
When a person who has taken alcoholic drinks experiences this mindset, potentially violent situations can occur. Therefore, people undergoing steroid-based treatment should be especially sensible when making a decision whether to take alcohol and in what amount. So, can you drink alcohol while on steroids? The best solution is to refrain from consuming alcohol for the period necessary for taking prescribed steroid-containing medications.