What is it about?

This paper reviewed 23 papers and one report which suggest that Anabolic Androgenic Steroid (AAS) users access a range of sources of information on: how to inject, substance effectiveness, dosages and side effects, suggesting this is the type of information users want. AAS users sought support from a range of sources including medical professionals, needle and syringe programmes, friends, dealers, and via the internet, suggesting that, different sources were used dependent on the information or support sought.

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Why is it important?

Since there is a paucity of research on support for people using Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS), we aimed to identify and synthesise the available evidence in this field. Gaining an understanding of the support both accessed and wanted by recreational AAS users will be of use to professionals who provide services to intravenous substance users and also to those working in the fields of public health and social care, with the aim to increase engagement of those using AAS.


Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) users tended to prefer peer advice and support over that of professionals, and access information online via specialist forums, reflecting the stigma that is experienced by AAS users. These tendencies can act as barriers to accessing services provided by professionals.

Professor Edwin R van Teijlingen
Bournemouth University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Scoping Review into what they want and what they access, BMC Public Health, July 2019, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-7288-x.
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