Dramatic increase in steroid use among men

QUEENSLAND needle exchanges have more clients using steroids than any other substance, topping traditional injecting drugs like heroin.

The drug behind Queensland thugs

The Courier-Mail can reveal more than half the needles used at most exchanges are for the use of steroids as young men use the drug to morph into what police say are “super strong” thugs.

Some needle exchanges claim up to 60 per cent of their needles are used for steroids.

Director of the Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre Professor Jake Najman said steroid use continued to increase rapidly.

“Half the people who are getting clean needles at the needle exchanges are getting the needles to use steroids. That is the information we are getting from exchanges,” said Prof Najman, who is also a professor at the University of Queensland.

The Queensland Injectors Health Network can have close to 200 needles a month used for steroids.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in steroid use in young men, there is no question about that,” Prof Najman said. “We are told there is a strong trend among exchanges.”

Needle exchanges provide sterile needles and injecting equipment to drug users in a bid to reduce the spread of diseases like HIV contracted through the use of dirty needles.

Traditionally they were formed to assist and educate heroin and methamphetamine addict addicts.

Police and drug researchers are concerned by the amount of teenagers who are engaging in steroid use. In May last year two students from St Joseph’s Nudgee College were arrested on steroid charges.

“You do worry when large numbers of young men are injecting steroids, not because they want to be sporting legends, but because they want to look like sporting legends,” Prof Najman said.

Griffith University Associate Professor Grant Devilly said the rise in use was dangerous. “You have 19 and 20-year-olds who have been going to the gym for several years and doing nothing but lifting weights and they don’t know their own strength,” he said.

“In the old days you wouldn’t get an 18-year-old built like a 30-year-old.”

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-needle-exchanges-reporting-high-numbers-of-clients-using-steroids/story-fnihsrf2-1226811569701

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