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The modes of administration of anabolic-androgenic steroid users (AAS): are non-injecting people who use steroids overlooked?

Van De Ven, K, Zahnow, R, McVeigh, J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5319-6885 and Winstock, A (2020) The modes of administration of anabolic-androgenic steroid users (AAS): are non-injecting people who use steroids overlooked? Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 27 (2). pp. 131-135. ISSN 0968-7637

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Abstract

Introduction: There is increasing public health concern about the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). Understanding of drug use patterns and practices is important if we are to develop appropriate risk-reduction interventions. Yet, much remains unclear about the modes of administration adopted by AAS users. Methods: We used data from a sub-sample of participants from the Global Drug Survey 2015; males who reported using injectable or oral AAS in their lifetime (n=1008). Results: Amongst our sample, approximately one third (35.62%) reported using only injectable AAS during their lifetime while 35.84% reported using only oral, with less than one third (28.54%) using both. Conclusion: These findings suggest there may be a sub-population of individuals who only use AAS orally. Needle and syringe programs (NSPs) are currently the primary point of health service engagement; forming the main healthcare environment for medical and harm reduction advice on steroids. Yet, NSP-based resources are unlikely to reach or be appropriate to those who do not inject AAS. While there is a general need for health services to be more accessible when it comes to AAS use, non-injectors are an overlooked group that require attention.

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