Steroid Checking Trial background:

Globally, 3.3% of the population uses image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) [1]. In a rapidly growing market [2, 3], counterfeit and substandard IPEDs are prevalent (>66%), highlighting issues of misrepresentation and inconsistency in product composition [4, 5]. There is potential for severe physical (e.g., cardiovascular event) and psychological consequences (e.g., depression) from IPEDs [6], but particularly so for unintended use of more harmful varieties of IPEDs (e.g., trenbolone) [7] and, therefore, interventions are crucial for protecting consumers health.

In February 2023, the government of Queensland in Australia announced its support for the introduction of drug checking services [8] which are now being implemented as a fixed-site and mobile service in Brisbane [9]. These services offer substance analysis and advice on composition, including unexpected contaminants, while providing attendees with health information [10]. Tim’s recent research [11] with IPED consumers has demonstrated the importance of the provision of drug checking services, due to the surge of more harmful IPEDs such as trenbolone [7, 12]. The findings suggest implementing harm reduction strategies, with drug checking being a primary health promotion candidate strategy for this group.

From there, the World’s first steroid checking trial was born…

Reporting:
WAVE 1 REPORT ROIDCheck-Wave1_Results

WAVE 2 REPORT [coming soon]

References
1. Sagoe, D., et al., The global epidemiology of anabolic-androgenic steroid use: a meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis. Annals of epidemiology, 2014. 24(5): p. 383-398.
2. Cox, L., N. Gibbs, and L.A. Turnock, Emerging anabolic androgenic steroid markets; the prominence of social media. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 2023: p. 1-14.
3. Turnock, L., et al., Big business: The private sector market for image and performance enhancing drug harm reduction in the UK. International Journal of Drug Policy, 2023. 122: p. 104254.
4. Coomber, R., et al., The supply of steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) in one English city: Fakes, counterfeits, supplier trust, common beliefs and access. Performance Enhancement & Health, 2014. 3(3-4): p. 135-144.
5. Maghsoudi, N., et al., Drug checking services for people who use drugs: a systematic review. Addiction, 2022. 117(3): p. 532-544.
6. Zahnow, R., et al., Adverse effects, health service engagement, and service satisfaction among anabolic androgenic steroid users. Contemporary Drug Problems, 2017. 44(1): p. 69-83.
7. Piatkowski, T.M., D.L. Neumann, and M. Dunn, ‘My mind pretty much went to mush’: A qualitative exploration of trenbolone in the performance and image enhancing drug community. Drug and Alcohol Review, 2023.
8. Coorporation, A.B., Queensland government announces pill testing trial at fixed and mobile sites. 2023.
9. Coorportion, A.B., Queensland to introduce pill testing at Rabbits Eat Lettuce Festival, where two people died in 2019. 2024.
10. Barratt, M.J. and F. Measham, What is drug checking, anyway? Drugs, Habits and Social Policy, 2022(ahead-of-print).
11. Piatkowski, T., et al., They sent it away for testing and it was all bunk”: Exploring perspectives on drug checking among steroid consumers in Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Drug Policy, 2023.
12. Lamb, H., et al., “I go back to it every f** king time”: the normalization of problematic Trenbolone use in online anabolic-androgenic steroid communities. Addiction Research & Theory, 2024: p. 1-7.