Anabolic–Androgenic Steroids: User Characteristics, Motivations, and Deterrents

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The use of anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS) is increasing internationally. The present study addresses the paucity of information regarding the characteristics and motivations of AAS users. This sample of 100 AAS (94% male) users was unlike other samples of Australian illicit drug users. They were typically male, well educated, and employed and had a higher disposable income than the general Australian population. They were also involved in rigorous training directly related to their AAS use. Recreational drug use was low, with gay participants largely responsible for the polydrug use among this sample. The main motivations for AAS use were improved physical appearance and increased size. Different subgroups of users had varied expectations about the psychological effects of AAS use that were also important in motivating use. Concern about physical health was the main deterrent to use. This information will be useful in the development of educational initiatives.

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