Do performance and image enhancing drug users in regional Queensland experience difficulty accessing health services?

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Abstract

Introduction and Aim.

To understand health service access and needs of people who use performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED) in regional Queensland.

Design and Methods.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 people (n = 19 men) who reported the use of a range of PIEDs, including anabolic-androgenic steroids, human chorionic gonadotropin, growth hormone, clenbuterol, tamoxifen, insulin and peptides.

Results.

Participants reported accessing a range of services, including needle and syringe programs and pharmacies, for sterile injecting equipment. While PIEDs users attributed some stigma to needle and syringe programs, they were seen as an important service for injecting equipment. Participants reported receiving either positive care from health-care providers, such as general practitioners (GP), or having negative experiences due to the stigma attached with PIED use. Few participants reported disclosing their PIED use to their GP not only because of the concerns that their GP would no longer see them but also because they felt their GP was not knowledgeable about these substances.

Discussion and Conclusion.

Participants in the study reported no difficulty in accessing health services based on living in a regional area, with their concern focused more upon how they were viewed and treated by service staff. [Dunn M, Henshaw R, Mckay F. H. Do performance and image enhancing drug users in regional Queensland experience difficulty accessing health services? Drug Alcohol Rev 2016;35:377–382]

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