Are anabolic steroids addictive?

They can be. Addiction to steroids is different than addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. People who misuse steroids don’t experience a “high” from the drug. However, they can experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using them.

People who do become addicted keep using steroids despite bad effects on their bodies and lives. Also, people who misuse steroids typically spend a large amount of time and money obtaining the drugs, another sign they could be addicted.

When they stop using steroids, people can experience uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • feeling depressed
  • having mood swings
  • feeling tired or restless
  • losing their appetite
  • being unable to sleep (insomnia)
  • having a strong desire to take more steroids

Depression can be very dangerous, because it sometimes leads people to think of or attempt suicide (killing themselves). Some symptoms of depression that are linked with anabolic steroid withdrawal have lasted for a year or more after the person stops misusing the drugs.