A new viewpoint written by scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Harvard Medical School describes that a growing number of young, non-athlete men are using androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs. The authors suggest that this trend could be partly driven by an idealized male image that increasingly focuses on muscularity, as illustrated in magazines, movies, advertisements, and television. This, in turn, could help explain the rising number of young men who report dissatisfaction with their body size and shape, and preoccupation with increasing muscle mass.
AAS use is associated with other drug use disorders, needle-born infections, psychological consequences, and disease of the heart, kidney and liver. However, long term studies are needed to determine the prevalence, patterns of use, health consequences, and effective prevention and treatment strategies.
For a copy of the paper, "Body image disorders and abuse of anabolic-androgenic steroids among men," published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, go to http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2592911.
For information about AAS, go to: www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/anabolic-steroids.
NIDA Press Office
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