CONSUMPTION OF ANABOLIC-ANDROGENIC STEROIDS AMONG ISFAHAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: PREVALENCE AND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS
Mehdi KARGARFARD, Ali KASHI
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
Keywords: Androgenic steroids, drug abuse, risky behavior, students, youth
The aim of this study was to examine the incidence of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AS) drugs use by Isfahan University students and knowledge level about such drugs and their side effects. Target population included all male students of the University. A confidential self-report questionnaire was administered to 310 male students aged 18 to 25 (23.3 ± 1.2 yr) attending the bachelor and master grades. The numbers of students reporting AS use, and differences between users’ and nonusers’ knowledge and attitudes about these drugs were assessed. The answer rate was 81.3% (n=252/310 eligible). Results indicated that 8.3% (n=21) of all students had already used steroids at least once, and 5.6% (n=14) were currently using them. The main reason for using these drugs was to increase muscular mass (43.6%) and strength (19.8%). Only 27.6% stated that friends, athletic magazines, the internet, coaches or athletic trainers, and parents were the primary sources of information. The results of this study suggest widespread use of AS drugs as well as low level of user's knowledge, or false views about side effects. This study also highlights the need to take steps in educating people and introducing preventive programs.
The authors wish to thank the University of Isfahan for the financial support that made this study possible.