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Call to ban online sale of steroids

22nd September 2010

Government drugs advisers have called for the sale of anabolic steroids over the internet to be banned.

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The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) said the growing misuse of the drugs by people seeking to bulk up their bodies was a "worrying development" which carried "significant risks" and raised concerns that young boys were falling into the trend.

However, it said the issue of anabolic steroids should be dealt with by education rather than criminal sanctions.

ACMD figures show some 14,500 schoolchildren aged 11 to 15 used anabolic steroids in the past year while there were 50,000 users aged 16 to 59.

Anabolic steroids contain the male hormone testosterone, providing a chemical shortcut to strength and endurance.

Dr James Brown, founder of the Association of Doctors in Sport, said body image was driving the use of anabolic steroids.

“The pressure on young people to look good and impress the opposite sex is immense. Everybody has to have a six-pack,” he said.

However there are dangers of anabolic steroid use such as osteoporosis and personality changes. Used in adolescents, they can disrupt the normal pattern of growth and maturation.

There are also additional risks from sharing injecting equipment.

ACMD chairman Professor Les Iversen said: “The misuse and rising prevalence of anabolic steroids is a worrying development. More needs to be done to tackle the supply of anabolic steroids and to educate people of the potential dangers.”

Another danger is that manufacturers are not regulated, so it is not clear what is in the drugs.

 

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