The use of anabolic androgenic steroids as a public health issue

Jim McVeigh, Geoff Bates, Gemma Anne Yarwood

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

1 Citation (SciVal)


In recent years there have been increasing calls for the use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) and associated drugs to be recognized as a public health issue. In the domain of the competitive athlete and professional bodybuilder, recent decades have seen the diffusion of AAS from the hardcore gyms of the 1980s and 1990s to the mainstream exercise and fitness environments of the twenty-first century. Alongside the apparent increases in the use of these drugs, there is a growing evidence base in relation to harms – physical, psychological and (to some extent) social. But is this form of drug use a public health issue? What criteria should we use to make this judgement? What is the available evidence and has our understanding of the issue improved? By drawing on the authors’ research in the United Kingdom and the wider international literature this chapter will explore these issues and attempt to answer the fundamental question – is the use of anabolic steroids a public health issue?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoping in Sport and Fitness
Subtitle of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Sport
EditorsApril Henning, Jesper Andreasson
Place of PublicationBingley, U. K.
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781801171571
ISBN (Print)9781801171588
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Sport
ISSN (Print)1476-2854


  • Anabolic androgenic steroids
  • doping interventions
  • evidence review
  • harm reduction
  • image and performance enhancing drugs
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of anabolic androgenic steroids as a public health issue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this