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Daily Exercise and Anabolic Steroids Use in Adolescents: A Cross-National European Study

NCJ Number
Substance Use and Misuse Volume: 43 Issue: 14 Dated: 2008 Pages: 2053-2065
Anna Kokkevi; Anastasios Fotiou; Anina Chileva; Alojz Nociar; Patrick Miller
Date Published
13 pages
This study investigated the association of anabolic steroid (AS) use and intensive physical exercise among adolescents.
Results show that AS use is associated with daily physical exercising, and observes a close link between AS and the use of other licit or illicit drugs. Findings from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) study replicate evidence based on reports from other countries on the low but not negligible prevalence of AS use among adolescents. The association between physical exercise and drug use remains a controversial issue in the literature. A large body of research suggests that overall there is a negative correlation between sporting activity, especially in organized sports, and substance use; that is, a substantially smaller portion of adolescents who participate in sports, compared to those who do not, report licit and illicit substance use. This suggests that involvement in sports protects from early experimentation with drugs. In contrast, other studies dispute the protective role of physical activity in substance use and provide evidence for a positive association between alcohol and cannabis use and intensive exercising. Data were collected from national probability samples of 16-year-old high school students from six European countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, the Slovak Republic, and the United Kingdom). Tables, notes, and references