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Face the Truth About Steroids

News & Events / Face the Truth About Steroids

“It is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts”

We’ve all heard that expression before.

Yet, we are obsessed with our image.

And it’s not hard to understand why we have this social obsession with looks.

Everywhere you turn – whether it’s on the train, on television or on the internet – there are images plastered portraying the “ideal” body, hair, tone, shape and the list goes on.

It’s even filtered through to the fitness sector. Health magazines, fitness advertisements, dieting regimes, gym memberships – they all portray the image that being healthy means looking a certain way or achieving a certain weight.

With this sort of fictitious belief that health is a number or look, it’s no wonder that steroid abuse has developed into a serious and worrying social trend in Australia.

Last week, it was reported that people who liked the gym were abusing steroids, and as a result were flooding needle exchange centres in Sydney’s west.

New data is said to reveal that the number of steroid users accessing these exchange centres has leapt 70 percent in three years – putting steroid users ahead of heroin abusers at needle exchanges. There was more than a 50 percent jump in south-western Sydney.

The common message communicated in the fitness industry is the ill-conceived misconception that being fit or healthy is centred on a certain look in chasing that perfect ‘beach body’, whether it’s the typical Arnold Schwarzenegger body-builder, the Rock buff action movie star or the Cindy Crawford slender-frame template.

The Australian fitness sector is a big-money industry. Last year, Australians were said to spend $8.5 billion on fitness each year.

There is no-doubt we’re experiencing a strong correlation between the rise of steroid use and an increased focus on ‘looking’ fit in society. Teenagers – particularly those aged between 12 and 15 – are increasingly using them to enhance their physical appearance.

The really scary part is this: these are people who exercise daily, eat healthy, don’t smoke and barely drink – however, they are totally ok with injecting steroids. Steroid users don’t see themselves as drug takers. And if they don’t see themselves as drug takers, how are they going to hear the hard truths associated with being a drug taker?

We need to start teaching our children that being healthy and fit comes from the inside. We need to start looking at our own behaviour – are we leading by example? Am I doing everything possible to ensure my child is not only physically healthy, but mentally strong to know the harms associated with steroid or other drug use?

Awareness starts with all of us. It is all of our responsibility to smash this misconception that some of our young boys and men have – that big is beautiful and slim is sexy.

If we don’t, there could be fatal consequences for our loved ones chasing that false ideal.


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