Anabolic steroids – the pointy end of criminal lawIf you have forgotten your password, simply enter the e-mail address you used to register on this site to begin the password reset process. Steroids are a colloquial term clenbuterol dosierung asthma anabolic-androgenic steroids. They are also known as roids, gear, juice, vets' drugs, and Legal status of anabolic steroids in australia. They are pharmaceutical substances that can be produced naturally or artificially to mimic the effects of testosterone and testosterone derivatives. Steroids are notoriously known among athletes, bodybuilders, and even the general population for their physique and performance boosting properties, along with a whole myriad of dangerous side effects.
Anabolic Steroids - Fact sheets
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The use of image and performance enhancing drugs — in particular steroids — is a growing area of concern globally. The use of these drugs has traditionally been limited to elite athletes and professional bodybuilders. But now their use is becoming normalised as part of a fitness and beauty regime for people who want to gain muscle, become leaner, and improve their appearance. Several population studies have shown the use of image and performance enhancing drugs in Australia is relatively low.
If Australia is to respond to image and performance enhancing drug use effectively, we need to improve our prevention and harm-reduction strategies — and not merely further criminalise users. The most-researched and targeted image and performance enhancing drugs are steroids.
But other examples include clenbuterol to lose weight and melanotan II a tanning agent. The inappropriate and excessive use of these drugs has been associated with a range of negative physical and psychological health consequences.
Steroid use, for example, has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, acne and skin infections, liver damage, tendon rupture, premature baldness and stunted bone growth in adolescents. There are also psychological implications such as addiction, mood syndromes, and body image disorders.
Another issue is that the widespread use of illicitly manufactured products sourced through the black market puts drug users at risk of adverse reactions to tainted products.
In addition, as many of these substances are injected, there are potential harms from unsafe injecting practices. In Australia, increases in the detection of these drugs at the border, coupled with contested concerns about links to organised crime , has led to greater levels of law enforcement. This means they are now classed alongside heroin, cocaine and ice in the highest category of dangerous illicit drugs. Similar tough penalties apply in New South Wales and Victoria.
However, there is little evidence that tougher penalties have resulted in reductions in steroid availability. The total number of seizures at the border fell in But there is evidence of increases in recent years. The Australian Crime Commission suggested in that any decrease in border interceptions could be the result of an increase in domestic production, coupled with increasingly easy access to drugs over the internet. But the greatest proportion of those arrested are steroid consumers — not suppliers.
This suggests the current criminal justice approach may have limited capacity to limit distribution. That growth in steroid use is most apparent in jurisdictions where recent legal changes have increased penalties suggests enhancing law enforcement measures may be an ineffective response to steroid use.
Other research on the impact of drug policies on other illicit substances have reached similar conclusions. As is the case with drug use broadly, users of enhancement drugs can be considered rational consumers who make a deliberate choice to use steroids to achieve a desired outcome.
But social and cultural factors are also very influential in the decision to use drugs. Research suggests people considering drug use rarely take the illegality of a particular substance into consideration. Increasing penalties associated with the use and possession of image and performance enhancing drugs are unlikely to prevent uptake or encourage users to stop.
Instead, this may result in several unintended negative consequences. For one, it can hinder access to medical services and information by discouraging both users and healthcare practitioners from talking about drug use.
Tougher penalties can also distract from key harm-minimisation measures, such as safe injecting practices. It provides face-to-face and over-the-phone counselling to steroid users, and delivers training to needle and syringe program staff. Greater resourcing is required to extend this program to allow for training in needle and syringe programs across Australia, and to deliver training to GPs.
Given the reluctance of users to engage with traditional drug services , GPs may be an important avenue for providing harm-minimisation messages to this group. There is an urgent need to reconsider steroid use as a public health issue, as opposed to a criminal justice concern. Harsher penalties will do nothing to tackle misinformation about steroids or underlying issues of body image dissatisfaction, depression and mental health concerns among users.
The business of faith: Inquisition and crime in the Middle Ages — York, York. Methodist Studies Seminar — Manchester, Manchester. Available editions United Kingdom. There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of steroids seized at the Australian border over time. Katinka van de Ven and Renee Zahnow. Number of performance- and image-enhancing drug detections at the Australian border, —06 to — DIBP If Australia is to respond to image and performance enhancing drug use effectively, we need to improve our prevention and harm-reduction strategies — and not merely further criminalise users.
Potential health harms The most-researched and targeted image and performance enhancing drugs are steroids. Beefing up steroid laws In Australia, increases in the detection of these drugs at the border, coupled with contested concerns about links to organised crime , has led to greater levels of law enforcement.
Number of national steroid arrests, to ACIC Consequences of a tough law enforcement approach As is the case with drug use broadly, users of enhancement drugs can be considered rational consumers who make a deliberate choice to use steroids to achieve a desired outcome.
Other unintended negative consequences of criminal justice responses to such drug use include: What about harm-reduction strategies? The Conversation is a non-profit. Help knowledge-based, ethical journalism today. You might also like Bottles of anabolic steroids seized in a raid in New South Wales.
Steroids have a range of negative side-effects and harms that many may not know about. Steroid use is growing in Australia but not among the usual suspects. Some people use steroids to enhance their physical appearance, others to boost their sporting or work performance. Expert Database Find experts with knowledge in: Community Community standards Republishing guidelines Friends of The Conversation Research and Expert Database Analytics Events Our feeds Donate Company Who we are Our charter Our team Our blog Partners and funders Contributing institutions Resource for media Contact us Stay informed and subscribe to our free daily newsletter and get the latest analysis and commentary directly in your inbox.
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