Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs
Why do people use PIEDs?
For most people who use PIEDS, body image is the main motivation for use. Due to desirable effects on physique, and improved self-esteem and confidence, people who use these drugs can develop a psychological dependence. However, for professional athletes it is the advantage in physical strength and size that is the main reason for use.
Anabolic steroids – roids, gear, juice
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are derived from testosterone and can be administered both through injection and as a tablet. Steroids are used to treat medical conditions in humans thanks to the anabolic effects that assist in the growth and repair of muscle tissue. These are also the main reasons for illicit use. People who use PIEDS should be aware of a number of negative physical, psychological and behavioural side effects including:
- high blood pressure
- liver and heart problems
- gynaecomastia (growth of breast tissue)
- hair loss
- increased aggression and irritability (‘roid rage’)
- shrinking testicles and prostate problems.
Peptides have become increasingly popular among professional and amateur athletes, due to fact that they are hard to detect as they are rapidly metabolised. Peptides stimulate the release of an increased level of human growth hormone, which has an important role in muscle and bone growth. Reported side effects of peptides include:
- water retention
- numbness of the hands and feet
- increased tiredness.
There are numerous hormones and hormone stimulating drugs in the PIEDs market. These include:
- Growth hormones like AOD-9604, which has fat burning properties and is used by athletes to increase power to weight ratios. Currently undergoing clinical trials. AOD-9604 is currently a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substance.
- Selective Androgen Receptor Modules (SARMs) appear to only act on anabolic receptors that cause tissue growth, unlike testosterone which acts on both anabolic and androgenic effects and are classed as a prohibited drug by WADA.
- Insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1) are a hormone produced by the liver, necessary for cell growth in the body. It is used for muscle growth and the development of cartilage and bone.
- Mechano growth factor (MGF) is derived from IGF-1 and helps with tissue repair and adaptation. It is used mostly by bodybuilders and is on the WADA prohibited list.
- More young men using steroids but do they know the harms? Summary of information relating to young men and steroid use in Australia, with links to a number of excellent studies/resources.
- Use of performance and image enhancing drugs among men: a review Physical training remains the primary way of changing and developing appearance, but there is a range of substances being used by some to enhance the effects of training.
- Illicit drug data report 2010-11 These statistics highlight the scope and depth of the illicit drug market and the entrepreneurial nature of manufacturers, traffickers and suppliers.
- Qulitative Field Study for Users of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs The aim of this study was to explore the motivations, behaviours, risks and physical and psychological harms associated with the use of PIEDs.
Performance and Image Enhancing Drug fact sheets
- Clenbuterol: Clenbuterol is classed as a ‘beta-2 agonist’ and its short-term effects are similar to stimulant drugs like amphetamine or ephedrine.
- Creatine monohydrate: Creatine is a naturally occurring compound synthesised from amino acids by the kidneys and liver.
- Erythropoietin (EPO): EPO is a naturally occurring hormone produced by cells in the kidneys that regulate the production of red blood cells in bone marrow.
- Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) When taken by males, hCG can stimulate the testes to produce testosterone rapidly.
- Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1): IGF-1 is a naturally occurring growth factor or hormone that stimulates many processes in the body.
- Insulin: Insulin may be illegally used in conjunction with anabolic steroids, in an attempt to increase muscle growth and definition.
For more information on dugs and alcohol please visit DrugInfo.adf.org.au