For quite some time, anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) have been taken in elite sports, especially in the bodybuilding scene, to build muscle mass faster and increase performance. This trend has now arrived in amateur sports (popular sports) in fitness centers for several years. In times of body cult and self-optimization, the consumers hope above all for fast and as beautiful perceived changes of the own body.
Many of these professional or amateur athletes obtain their substances through unregulated outlets (internet, darknet, private contacts, etc.). Many AAS substances are produced in illegal laboratories without quality standards. Users are therefore exposed to the risk of taking misdeclared substances or substances of inferior quality. This can cause significant short- or long-term damage to the health of users of such substances (e.g. liver and kidney damage).
A recently published study investigates this phenomenon. The authors reviewed about 19 studies (mainly from European countries and Brazil) on seized AAS drugs and conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. In addition, they show reasons why AAS are often misdeclared or of inferior quality and what effects the consumption of AAS can have on individual consumers or public health. In addition, possible approaches to risk reduction (e.g. drug-checking offers) are explained. Click here for the study