More Young Guys are Taking Steroids, But Do They Understand the Risks?

According to a recent national poll, steroids were used by two-thirds of young males who began injecting drugs over the last three years, surpassing methamphetamine and heroin use.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone, a hormone that is important for the development of male reproductive tissues as well as secondary sexual traits such body hair growth and voice deepening.

Steroids have valid medical use. They are administered to adults with chronic wasting illnesses, such as AIDS, to assist increase appetite and preserve muscle mass, and they can be used as growth stimulators in children with growth failure. However, when used in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet, steroids can help enhance muscular size, strength, and lean muscle mass.

The scope is unknown

The number of steroid detections at the Australian border climbed by 74% in 2009-10, the highest level in the prior decade, according to the Australia Crime Commission. The number of national steroid arrests had also grown by 47%, according to the report. Small quantities were detected in a large number of cases, implying that they are being imported for personal use.

It’s worth noting that these figures reflect what law enforcement officers find and seize. If we consider this to be the tip of the iceberg, we may conclude that steroid use is on the rise in our society. While steroid use has long been associated with bodybuilding, we’ve seen it become more accepted among the general gym-going public. This is supported by the findings of a recently released nationwide study.

However, while we have a good notion of who uses testosterone cypionate for sale, there is no definitive description of a typical steroid user in Australia. And the prevalence of steroid use varies depending on the demographic.

Who utilizes anabolic steroids?

In a large population study of over 26,000 Australians, less than 0.1 percent admitted to using steroids for non-medical purposes in the previous year. To put this in context, roughly 10% of Australians had used cannabis, 3% had used ecstasy, and 2% had used cocaine over the same time period. This amount of steroid use has not changed since the study was originally conducted in 1993.

Meanwhile, a poll of over 22,000 Australian high school students revealed that 2% of 12- to 17-year-olds had used steroids “without a doctor’s prescription” in an attempt to improve their “sport performance, muscular size, or general attractiveness.” In recent time periods, fewer students had used steroids, showing that use was not consistent. Steroid users also utilized a variety of other drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, ecstasy, and cocaine.

According to surveys of men who have sex with men, about 2% of men in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane have used steroids in the previous six months.

Australian Customs confiscated 100 bottles containing illegal liquid steroids disguised inside sexual lubricant packaging in Melbourne in 2008. Image courtesy of AAP/Australian Customs

All of these statistics indicate that we aren’t looking in the correct locations. We’ll probably never know the exact number of people who use steroids. But who are they, exactly? We know from all of the study done in Australia that people who use steroids and other medicines to improve their image or performance are not all the same.

They are mostly male. They are mostly in their mid-twenties to early-thirties, though there are guys in their twenties and thirties that use steroids as well. They are more likely to have completed high school and work full-time. A sizable portion of the population identifies as bisexual or homosexual. They do use other substances including cannabis, cocaine, and ecstasy, but this is more likely to be due to their sexual orientation than their steroid use.

While steroid users may be similar in some ways and dissimilar in others, the reason they use them appears to be the same. Each person who uses steroids has their own reasons for doing so, but we may categorize them into three categories: improving one’s body, improving one’s sport, or improving one’s job. Some of these reasons may apply to both men and women. Strength may help you perform better on the football field, and having a better body can help you perform better at work if you’re a security guard or bouncer.

Steroid-related side effects

Steroids are effective when combined with exercise and a healthy diet. They do, however, have a number of unwanted side effects and risks. In fact, the majority of persons who have used steroids in Australia are aware of and report negative effects; only a small percentage seem unconcerned, and 97 percent reported at least one physical side effect in one research.

Some of the negative effects of steroid use, such as acne or increased body hair, may be deemed minor or bothersome. Increased hunger, water retention, diminished teste size, and sleepiness are all possible side effects. Many of them will go away once you stop using steroids.

However, there are other negative effects that are sometimes overlooked. Steroids are injected, hence hazardous injection practices, such as sharing or reusing needles or sharing multivial doses, can cause injury. Consistent discomfort or redness at the injection site, scarring or hard lumps, hitting a vein or chronic bleeding, swelling of the arm or leg, abscesses, and nausea are all possible side effects of injecting.

Users of anabolic steroids have expressed concerns about their mental health. Aggression or “roid fury,” as well as mood swings and their impact on relationships with friends and family, are examples. Users have experienced unfavorable mood effects such as mood swings or feeling moodier, as well as anxiety or depression.

Steroid use has also been linked to the development of a dependency syndrome. This is perhaps the element of steroid use that has received the least attention. In interviews with steroid users, it was revealed that some users continued to use despite unfavorable physical or psychological repercussions, and that other users are afraid of losing the physical benefits of using if they stop.

The latest research raises concerns, and it’s critical that people who take steroids are informed of the dangers they’re exposing themselves to.

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