By changing anabolic-androgenic steroids from restricted drugs to illegal drugs has created the opportunity for criminal gangs to become involved in their manufacture and distribution. With the change from restricted to illegal the price of anabolic-androgenic steroids increased dramatically. Currently anabolic-androgenic steroids are either imported from overseas or are manufactured in backyard laboratories. The manufacture of anabolic-androgenic steroids in backyard laboratories greatly increases the risk to the user. One commentator suggested that criminal gangs obtain 200ml testosterone bladders from veterinary supplies and then decant them into 10ml bottles. In 2014 the Queensland Government changed the classification of anabolic-androgenic steroids to be the same as heroine and amphetamines. The reasons cited was the increase in violence due to taking anabolic-androgenic steroids and the involvement by criminal gangs in their manufacture and distribution. There is no clear evidence that the increased use of anabolic-androgenic steroids has led to an increase in violence. There is clear evidence that there is a relationship between criminal gangs and profitability of illegal drugs. New research suggests that there is a clear relationship between the concentration of pubs, bars and clubs in an area and the level of alcohol fuelled violence.
Dr Anne Fox suggests the issues with violence among young men has little to do with alcohol but how young men are nurtured. Dr Fox goes onto suggest in Australia there is an over emphasis on sport and the macho culture. There are many countries around the world where alcohol is not viewed as problematic among young men. In Italy the effect of alcohol is considered to be calming rather aggressive. Also those who are aggressive or have a predisposition towards aggression have a propensity to drink heavily. One fact appears to leap from the pages; Australian men still believe that aggression is an acceptable way to solve problems.
So where do we go from here? Australia is heading down a path that will see many young men being given a major criminal sentence/record for what was a minor offence 20 years ago. Young men are potentially risking their health while lining the pockets of criminal gangs. Changing anabolic-androgenic steroids to an illegal drug has seen the increase in their use. The worldwide war on drugs has failed. It is now failing with anabolic-androgenic steroids. A new approach is needed – one that looks at the evidence based facts, not fear driven by the popular media.
Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy For Men - Wellington New Zealand