Currently the most popular illicit drug taken in Australia are anabolic-androgenic steroids. The increase in the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids in Australians over the last 10 years is obvious. Large numbers of men now have bodies that look like they have stepped straight out of a fitness magazine. There are more men who are disproportionally highly muscled and lean. The pressure for the perfect male body now comes from the media, sport, films and social media. The body culture is now all pervasive. The film industry didn’t see the degree of emphasis on well-built and very lean leading male stars 20 years ago. Stars like Chris Hemsworth star of Thor and The Avengers, Hugh Jackman star of X-Man and Wolverine and Chris Evans star of Captain America and The Avengers now appear like an industry norm.
In recent years sports stars have also changed. We now see footballers and rugby players with much more highly muscled and lean physiques. They are unlike the sport stars of 30 years ago. Research has shown that young women feel pressured to obtain the perfect body due to the influence of the media and social pressure. This is now also true for many young men. Young women struggle to obtain and maintain the perfect body. This type of physique requires constant dieting and may lead to many experiencing body image issues etc. Many young men are now in a similar situation, struggling to obtain the perfect body which is highly muscled and lean. For the average young man obtaining the perfect physique as seen in fitness magazines, movies and by their sports heroes is unattainable without the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids. The media and society is setting unrealistic and unattainable goals for both young men and women. The use of anabolic-androgenic steroids, slimming products and surgery are now becoming the norm rather than the exception.
The use of anabolic-androgenic steroids appear to fall into 3 broad categories; Young straight men who take a high dosage of anabolic-androgenic steroids for a relatively short period of time, generally between 1 to 5 years. A smaller but still significant number of straight men who take high dosage of anabolic-androgenic steroids for many years, generally 10 years and above. And gay men who take low dosages of anabolic-androgenic steroids for many years often for 10 years and above. Unlike many illicit drugs, anabolic-androgenic steroids are normally taken in cycles of 12 weeks ‘on,’ followed by 12 weeks ‘off’. The use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is vastly different from other illicit drugs.
Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy For Men - Wellington Mew Zealand