Australia Defense Dept issues steroid warning to troops

Steroid use is not just an American phenomena.  Young people all over the world are using these illegal drugs.  And some of them are trained to carry arms.

Don

THE Defence Force has launched a scare campaign about the dangers of abusing anabolic steroids after several special forces soldiers were sent home in disgrace from Afghanistan.

The latest navy newspaper contains a fact sheet detailing the side effects of abusing the drug, warning that it can cause infertility, heart attacks, the development of breast tissue in men and enlarged clitorises in women.

The Herald revealed last year that seven special forces soldiers had tested positive for anabolic steroids in Afghanistan or been found in possession of the muscle-boosting drug. All were sent home and asked to show cause as to why they should not be sacked.

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Because of periods of boredom and inactivity, soldiers in Afghanistan spend much of their spare time working out at improvised gyms at the bases and order protein supplements, which are delivered to them on the front line.

The supplement companies derive so many customers from the Defence Force that some send the troops windcheaters and singlets with their logo on the front and Operation Slipper – the Australian mission in the Middle East – on the back.

Some troops also give in to the temptation to boost their muscle mass in an illicit fashion.

”The use of anabolic steroids is not only dangerous to your health, but threatens your career and financial wellbeing,” the fact sheet warns. ”There are risks associated with both the injectable and tablet forms of the drug. It can be very dangerous to combine steroid use with some other drugs, such as insulin, human growth hormone or amphetamines.

”Unsafe use of injecting equipment also carries with it the risk of infection with blood-borne viruses, such as hepatitis C.”

The article goes on to say that other side-effects of anabolic steroid abuse in men can include baldness, acne, heightened aggression and infertility, and in women a permanent deep voice, facial hair, and enlarged clitoris and problems with their menstrual cycle.

The commander of Defence’s health command, Major-General Paul Alexander, said the length of time steroids stayed in a person’s urine meant steroid use could be detected weeks after the drugs were taken.

Defence recently advertised for people to set up specialised drug and alcohol rehabilitation courses in various cities across Australia after a spate of bad publicity surrounding drug use, drunkenness and alleged drug dealing.

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