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Bond University conducts new research into steroid use in Australia

Bond University researchers are conducting pioneering research into the use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs), to better understand the factors around the growing use of steroids and associated drugs in Australia.

Bond University criminologist Dr Terry Goldsworthy is spearheading the research into PIEDs use within the community, in partnership with Queenslanders Injectors Health Network and Lives Lived Well.

In 2014, steroids were reclassified as a schedule one dangerous drug, alongside heroin, cocaine and amphetamines in the highest category of dangerous illicit substances, and Dr Goldsworthy said more information was needed to better understand the behaviours that motivate PIEDs users.

"The study aims to gather information around a number of issues associated with PIEDs usage, such as psychological addiction, safe injecting practices, links to blood borne viruses and issues with changes in personality such as 'roid rage'," said Dr Goldsworthy.

"We are collecting data from a wide range of people both users and non-users - current and past steroids users, people who believe they may potentially use in the future, as well as people who have experiences with friends or family who use steroids and associated drugs.

"The findings of the research will be used to understand the health aspects of PIEDs use and what kind of education is necessary to mitigate the use of steroids in the community, as well as shed light on the implications of PIEDs use in relation to criminal justice policy.

"Participation in the study is voluntary and anonymous, and all data collected will be treated with complete confidentiality."

Dr Goldsworthy said data from the Australian Crime Commission showed steroid use had increased by around 200 per cent since 2008, and Queensland in particular accounted for about 60 per cent of steroid arrests.

"In recent years there has been noticeable growth in the fitness industry, as well as increases in steroid-related arrests nationally," he said.

"There is a growing culture of people looking to improve the appearance of their bodies, and the use of PIEDs can provide a way to achieve the desired results much easier and faster than putting in the hard work in the gym."

Dr Goldsworthy said he anticipated the research would assist with developing strategies to maximise safety and minimise risks of illicit use of PIEDs within the community.

"Drawing on harm minimisation and crime prevention theory, we hypothesize that by increasing community awareness of the issues associated with illicit PIEDs use, we can create programs aimed at maximising safety and minimising risks of illicit use of such substances," he said.

For further information on the study, please contact Dr Goldsworthy [email protected].

The survey can be accessed at the following address www.surveymonkey.com/s/bondpiedstudy.

ENDS

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