An increasing number of performance-enhancing drugs are being sold in Bridlington and across the county, say East Riding Council.
Latest statistics suggest the use of steroids is rising, with one in every four packs issued in needle exchanges locally used by those injecting the substance. In just over a year more than 10,000 needles have been issued.
Once the preserve of bodybuilders, teenage fitness enthusiasts are taking the drug to achieve a “hyper male”, “ripped” muscled look.
Legal to use, but illegal to supply, it is believed some of the Class C drugs are being sold by “dodgy” personal trainers in local gyms.
Tony Margetts, East Riding Council’s substance misuse manager, said: “I think it starts in sixth form because lads start becoming self-conscious about their image.
“They want to bulk up, buy a set of weights and they see steroids as a quick fix.
“There is no research, but I do wonder if some of it is related to a female equivalent of body dysmorphia.
“They get absolutely stuffed with synthetic testosterone. They bulk up, look in the mirror and look fantastic.
“Then they stop taking testosterone and their natural testosterone doesn’t kick in. They are not putting the weight on, the bulk on – you can imagine this becoming quite an addictive cycle.”
The council is launching an awareness-raising campaign about the drugs whose side-effects include a reduction in fertility, rapid mood changes and sexual dysfunction.
They can also put added pressure on the liver and heart, increasing the risk of strokes.
But Mr Margetts said they had steered away from using scare tactics – as they simply wouldn’t be believed.
Information leaflets are now available or can be downloaded from the drug information pages of the East Riding Council’s website, www.eastriding.gov.uk/drugs while other information is available from Laurie Fergusson on 01482 391014.