The modes of administration of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) users: are non-injecting people who use steroids overlooked?

Katinka van de Ven*, Renee Zahnow, Jim McVeigh, Adam Winstock

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Introduction: 

    There is increasing public health concern about the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). Understanding of drug use patterns and practices is important if we are to develop appropriate risk-reduction interventions. Yet, much remains unclear about the modes of administration adopted by AAS users. 

    Methods: 

    We used data from a sub-sample of participants from the Global Drug Survey 2015; males who reported using injectable or oral AAS in their lifetime (n = 1008). 

    Results: 

    Amongst our sample, approximately one third (35.62%) reported using only injectable AAS during their lifetime while 35.84% reported using only oral, with less than one third (28.54%) using both. 

    Conclusion: 

    These findings suggest there may be a sub-population of individuals who only use AAS orally. Needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) are currently the primary point of health service engagement; forming the main healthcare environment for medical and harm reduction advice on steroids. Yet, NSP-based resources are unlikely to reach or be appropriate to those who do not inject AAS. While there is a general need for health services to be more accessible when it comes to AAS use, non-injectors are an overlooked group that require attention.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
    Early online date16 May 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2019

    Keywords

    • AAS
    • anabolic-androgenic steroids
    • Global Drug Survey
    • harm reduction
    • IPED
    • needle and syringe programmes
    • Performance and image enhancing drugs
    • PIED

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