Steroid abuse a complex subject

2013-03-17 10:00

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The surprising results of a survey conducted by the SA Sports Medicine Association on the use of steroids in South African schools reveals that the main reason reported for steroid use is for improving ­self-image, and not for enhancing sporting performance, as is the common ­perception.

Two-thirds of the pupils who had used steroids stated they did so ­primarily to “look good”, while only a third did so to perform better on the sports field.

Incidentally, the main source for obtaining steroids by schoolboys was reported to be from gyms.

Research has shown that ­dependencies on an addictive substance are closely associated with a dependency on another drug.

When considering these findings, steroid addiction can be associated with recreational and other hard drug use.

Because there is not necessarily any association with sports performance, the use of steroids in schools indicates a social problem that is drastically increasing with no definite care measures.

How common steroid addiction in schools is compared to the number of people who abuse drugs is unclear.

Like all forms of addiction, steroid dependency is a complex subject.

- Dr Anke Brand, Centurion

»?Brand is chairperson of the ATKV Centurion discussion forum

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