Steroid Use Increases Addiction Risk
Performance-enhancing steroid use could increase the risk of cocaine use and addiction, according to a new rodent study.
Athletes sometimes use anabolic steroids to boost performance, with usage becoming increasingly widespread in recent years .
In addition to building muscle, performance-enhancing drugs have been found to affect mood and behavior, including risk-taking behavior.
Previous research has shown that approximately one-third of young adults who use anabolic steroids also use cocaine.
This rate is substantially higher than the roughly 5% of young adults who use cocaine but do not take anabolic steroids.
Although there appears to be a link between anabolic steroid use and the tendency to use other addiction-forming drugs in adults, it has not been well-studied in adolescents.
Researchers from the University of Puerto Rico studied female rats, half of which were exposed to nandrolone, one of the anabolic steroids most commonly used by young adults.
After 10 days of steroid exposure, the animals were divided into four groups:
- One group was exposed to nandrolone only.
- One group was exposed to nandrolone and cocaine.
- One group was exposed to cocaine only.
- A control group was exposed to neither nandrolone nor cocaine.
The researchers observed that the group exposed to nandrolone showed increased sensitivity to cocaine – called locomotor sensitization – than the other groups.
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