Characteristics and Consequences of Use of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in Poly Substance Abuse
Sammanfattning: The use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) has been associated with use of illegal or unprescribed prescription drugs, as well as different adverse psychiatric effects, such as ma-nia, psychosis and hostility. Further, there is an association between use of AAS and other different risk behaviours, including carrying guns and reckless driving. Taken together, these data suggest that there is a group of AAS users that are not elite athletes, but rather young men at risk for psychiatric illness and criminality, and who use AAS primarily for their aes-thetic effects and possibly for their psychoactive effects. The aim of this thesis is to investi-gate further the connection between use of AAS and use of other drugs, and to investigate whether the proposed side effects of AAS cause an increase in morbidity and mortality.The first study (Paper I) investigates morbidity and mortality in persons testing positive for AAS compared to persons testing negative for AAS at a doping laboratory. Paper II of this thesis studies the presence of psychoactive drugs in diseased men who tested positive for AAS upon autopsy and whether there is any difference between deceased users of AAS and deceased users of heroin or amphetamine (control group). The third article (Paper III) dis-cusses a surprising finding in paper I of increased seizures NOS in users of AAS. Paper IV and V are interview studies from an out-patient substance abuse clinic.The main findings in Paper I was that the majority of deceased users of AAS were also positive for other drugs and/or alcohol on autopsy, and that users of AAS more often than the control group had died from intentional death (suicide or homicide). The main finding of Paper II was that users of AAS were severely at risk for premature death compared to both the control group and the general population. Paper III concluded that the high prevalence of Convulsion NOS in users of AAS most likely was the result of concomitant substance abuse and withdrawal from such use. Paper IV concluded that twelve percent of the patients at the substance abuse clinic had used AAS for at least one cycle. Users of AAS had a higher risk of having been convicted of a violent offence, and users of AAS more often reported having been physically abused. In Paper V, long-terme users of AAS were found to have an increased risk for developing depression in connection with cessation of AAS use. AAS was also re-ported to be used in preparation for crime.In summary, this thesis concludes that there is a solid association between use of AAS and use of other psychotropic drugs in certain subpopulations, and that users of AAS are at risk for premature death due to unnatural causes that may be secondary to use of AAS.
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