Steroid use for ideal body a 'time bomb' for Welsh NHS

One man, who started using the drug to get his dream summer body, said health risks were worth it.

Steroid abuse - needle with man
Public Health Wales said tests showed about a third of image enhancing drugs bought online did not contain what they claimed

An increase in men using steroids in a bid to get the perfect body is creating a "time bomb" for the NHS, an expert has warned.

A needle exchange for steroid users has been opened in Newport after a clinic saw an increase in their use.

One user, in his twenties, said he was using them to get his dream summer body - and the health risks were worth it.

Mike Mallett, who set-up the clinic, fears it will lead to a boom in men with health issues.

"My worry is that in 20 years time, maybe less, GPs will see an increase in the number of 40 and 50-year-old guys, with a 20-year history of using steroids, with liver, thyroid, and kidney problems, or heart conditions," he said.

"But they won't approach their GP until they're symptomatic, by then the treatment is going to be much more expensive and much less likely to be effective."

A number of needles and empty steroid vials have been found in south Wales recently

Needle exchanges - where users can get clean needles and safe injection advice - are more traditionally associated with drug addicts like heroin users.

The clinic in Newport, which opened last year and is the first of its kind in Wales, is only for steroid users and offers blood tests and other tests to check users' health.

It was opened after Gwent Substance Misuse Service saw a marked increase in the number of people using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs using its services.

Anabolic steroids are a Class C drug, and though it is illegal to sell or manufacture them, personal use is legal.

One man said he would not buy steroids off the streets but online as they looked more official

One user, in his twenties, started using steroids about two months ago alongside visiting the gym and dieting in a bid to get the "summer body" he wants.

He buys them online and said he had gone to the clinic to get his blood and organ functions checked as he was nearing the end of a cycle.

While he was aware of well-publicised cases of people dying from using the drug, he said it was worth the risk.

"Everybody knows steroids exist, but I've always been in and out of gym on and off since I was 17, but only in last two years I've changed my life around the gym, dieting, focusing on the gym, that's my lifestyle kind of thing," he said.

"It's only recently I've thought about using these enhancers to get me to where I want to be by summer."

He added: "It's always a concern, you'd have to be stupid not to think 'what is this doing to my body?', like I've come today to have my blood test.

"As long as you keep an eye on your health at regular intervals. If everything comes back fine, then you know you're fine. If it doesn't come back fine and you don't stop, that's your own fault."

Public Health Wales (PHW) said, while the drugs sold online could look official, tests of image and performance enhancing drugs (Ipeds) had shown about a third did not contain what they claimed, while some had no active ingredient at all.

Josie Smith, of PHW, said it was a challenge to get the message across about the health implications of using Ipeds, when users were seeing the results they wanted.

"We have to recognise that if an individual is seeing results, that can perpetuate use," she said, adding that a stigma also meant that many users were often reluctant to seek help.

"When an individual feels better, they look better, they feel more confident - that's quite challenging to address," she said.

"We need to upskill health professionals and we need to make sure that we have credible sources of information and advice - and non-stigmatising health care," she added.

Date: 14 June 2018 | Source: BBC

More UK News

Prince Philip unhurt after car crash - palace

The Duke of Edinburgh has been involved in car crash but was not injured, Buckingham Palace says

Snow and ice cause Scotland travel disruption

Several roads are closed in the north east after ice and snow cause problems for drivers

Solo 45: Rape accused grime rapper 'not a monster'

Grime musician Andy Anokye "reasonably believed" the women had consented, his trial heard

Owner gets stuck up tree trying to rescue own cat

Harry's owner Maria Parry realised the tree was "really high" after she climbed it to free him

Nursing mother smashes 268-mile Montane Spine Race record

Jasmin Paris expressed milk for her 14-month-old daughter during the gruelling Montane Spine Race

Child killer David Gaut 'murdered' by Elliotstown neighbours

David Gaut was stabbed to death after serving a 32-year prison sentence for killing a 15-month-old
View More

More Telford News

 MP's warning over Broseley's Broxit move

Broseley Town Council has been told it cannot choose to complete a "Broxit..

 Future Fit: A&E recommendation rubber stamped

Health officials have confirmed their choice of Royal Shrewsbury Hospital ..

 Row over key document in Shropshire's Future Fit discussions

A row has broken out over a key document in Shropshire's Future Fit discus..

 Four admit role in violent family fracas in Telford

The trial of seven men accused of leaving two people with serious injuries..

 There is no place for Future Fit says leader of Telford & Wrekin Council

The Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council is calling on health bosses to ..

 Former coronary care nurse takes top business role at UK medical supply firm

A former coronary care nurse has taken a top role with one of the UK’s lead..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

Upcoming Events in Telford

19 Jan 2019

Saturday 19 January 7.30pm

Tickets £25

View Details

25 Jan 2019

Friday 25 January 7.30pm


View Details

31 Jan 2019

Thursday 31 January 7.30pm

Tickets £23

Concession £21.50

View Details

09 Feb 2019

Saturday 9 February 7.30pm

Adult: £26.50

Concessions: £23.50

View Details
View More