The number of men using anabolic steroids in Britain is reaching staggering proportions.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, just under 60,000 people a year take steroids. However those working with steroid users say the number is significantly higher. Professor Julian Baker from the University of the West of Scotland is an expert in steroid use and thinks the number of steroid users is being underestimated.
“There are needle exchanges in Cardiff and Glasgow which say they’ve seen a 600% increase for steroid users over 10 years. The real figure is definitely in the hundreds of thousands,” he said.
“The vast majority of people we see use steroids for image reasons. It’s mainly to show your muscles, going out. It’s all linked to images of lean physiques with big arms. That’s the kind of look the young lads like. It used to be much more limited; only the really big, muscular guys went anywhere near steroids. Now it can be anybody who goes to a gym and speaks to people. The network of supply and demand is very advanced,” said Graham Beeny, who works for a steroid clinic in Manchester.
The effects of steroid use can be quite negative. The HIV infection rate amongst steroid users has now reached 1.5%, that’s just as high as those that use heroin.
Other side effects include roid rage which lead to extreme aggressive behaviour in those that taking the drug. A big concern is the age of steroid users in the UK.
Reports suggest some children as young as 13 years old are using the dangerous drug.
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