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ACMD – Consideration of the Anabolic Steroids

Are you curious about anabolic steroids and their associated risks? We’ve got you covered with an informative summary of an executive report that delves into this topic. If you want to explore the full document, you can download and read it here: Link to Full Report.

The Executive Summary of this report discusses anabolic steroids, their risks, and recommendations for addressing these issues, particularly among young people.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances related to male sex hormones, mainly testosterone, known for their anabolic and androgenic effects. The report is prompted by growing concerns about the harms associated with their use and the increasing evidence of their use, especially among young people.

Determining the exact number of non-medical anabolic steroid users remains challenging. The British Crime Survey estimates that around 226,000 people aged 16-59 in England and Wales have ever used anabolic steroids, with 50,000 using them in the past year and 19,000 in the past month.

The report highlights potential harms linked to anabolic steroid use, including acne, cardiovascular issues, psychological effects like aggression and violence, and liver problems. Young people, in particular, face risks like virilization and disruptions in growth and behavioral maturation.

Substandard and counterfeit anabolic steroids are also a concern, with the report outlining potential harms associated with them. Some local drug partnerships have seen a significant increase in steroid use, raising concerns about the transmission of blood-borne viruses. To address this, the report emphasizes the need for drug users to have access to sterile injecting equipment.

The report recommends that anabolic steroids should continue to be classified as Class C drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The evidence doesn’t support a change in their classification status. However, the report suggests further restrictions on the importation and exportation of anabolic steroids, particularly personal custody on importation, if compliant with EU legislation.

Additionally, the report calls for a reconsideration of the term ‘medicinal product’ in the legislation, as it is deemed to be causing confusion. The ACMD believes that this term should be revised.

Lastly, there is a recognized need for widespread and credible information and advice to counteract the misinformation provided by websites promoting anabolic steroid use. This highlights the importance of educating users and the public about the risks associated with these substances.

In summary, the report addresses concerns about anabolic steroid use, especially among young people, and recommends maintaining their classification as Class C drugs. It also suggests stricter regulations on importation and exportation, a revision of confusing terminology, and the provision of accurate information to combat misinformation. The overarching goal is to mitigate the harms associated with anabolic steroids and protect public health.

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