Who uses steroids in Australia and why are they using them?
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 20:30

Casey, 29, started using steroids a couple of years ago when he found out he had low testosterone. He bought testosterone on the black market and then started taking other anabolic steroids. He found a YouTube channel that he says showed him how to use safely. He also got information through online forums where users talk about what to take and for how long. He says he’s had no side effects because he takes low doses.

Anthony started using anabolic steroids when he was 16. He says the results he was getting naturally weren’t enough. He first started using testosterone and quickly moved onto stronger substances because he says progression was a drug in itself. Despite some side effects, he says he would look forward to injecting steroids because he knew each time he used, it would mean a better work out and bigger body.

‘Brian’ spent two years researching anabolic steroids before he started taking them. He got information from online forums where he says medically minded users discuss dosages and substances. He does what’s called ‘cruising’ and ‘blasting’ where he takes substances for 12 weeks and then comes off them. He says his side effects have included testicle shrinkage and delays in ejaculation when having sex. He disagrees with the laws in NSW and Queensland which classify steroids the same as heroin and amphetamines. He thinks they don’t match the reality of the situation.

‘Stan’ has seven convictions for importing, manufacturing and using steroids. At one point he was making anabolic steroids which he says are very easy to manufacture. He would make up to $4000 profit a week. He was also diagnosed with muscle dysmorphia when he was 18 and used it as a defence in court. He stopped using after his last arrest.

Prof. Ann Conway is an Endocrinologist who specialises in male diseases and conditions. She says there is no safe level of using steroids when not prescribed by a doctor. She says using can cause suppression of reproductive system, effect fertility, damage the liver and cause cardiac issues. She doesn't think GPs should be helping people use steroids safely but instead telling them to stop using.

Insight talks to users, former users, doctors and lawyers about who is using steroids, why they use and how that use is managed in Australia.


Presenter: Jenny Brockie 

Producer: Jodie Noyce 

Associate producer: Maria Nguyen-Emmett 

Take part

Would you like to know what have steroids done to your reproductive and cardiac health?

Andrology Department at Concord Repatriation General Hospital is recruiting for a study to help answer these questions. It doesn't matter if you are currently using androgens or if you have used in the past. The Andrology Department will provide you the results and it won't cost anything to take part.

The study is for men aged 18 to 50 years, exercising regularly (at least 3 times/week). You will get blood and urine tests, semen analysis, testicular ultrasound, body composition scan, ECG, ECHO and CT calcium score.

Click here for more details. Or call us 02 9767 7222 or email androgens.study@anzac.edu.au

This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee - CRGH of the Sydney Local Health District