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.
Steroids can worsen existing skin pathologies. Athletes being treated for acne often stop responding to normal treatment regimens if they also continue to use the drugs. Some cases of comparatively benign acne can progress to the disfiguring inflammatory types. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which, for unknown reasons, immune cells attack skin cells, resulting in red, scaly patches. One bodybuilder had controlled his psoriasis condition through the use of a topical cream, but when he began using steroids, his condition considerably deteriorated. Eventually his psoriasis became resistant to treatment. But when he stopped using steroids, the psoriasis stabilized and again responded to simple skin-cream treatment. 6