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The significance of anabolic androgenic steroids in a Swedish prison population
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine.
2010 (English)In: Comprehensive Psychiatry, ISSN 0010-440X, E-ISSN 1532-8384, Vol. 51, no 3, 312-318 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) has been associated with adverse psychiatric effect, violent behavior, and criminality. The aim of this study was to further investigate the motives for and consequences of AAS use, with focus on violent and antisocial behavior. Fifty-nine prisoners were interviewed on their use of AAS, and their history was mapped with Addiction Severity Index interviews. Of these prisoners, 56% admitted previous use of AAS, of whom 24% declared to have committed violent crimes in connection with use of AAS. However, the only significant difference between users and nonusers with regard to criminal history when measured with the Addiction Severity Index was that the AAS users more often stated that they had been prosecuted for crimes labeled as “other crimes,” which did not include violent crimes. The reported side effects of AAS corresponded well to those previously reported. These results indicate that use of AAS is common among Swedish prisoners and that the motives and consequences of such use are similar to what has been observed in other AAS-using populations. Furthermore, this study supports earlier notions that misuse of AAS might cause violent behavior, but only in certain individuals and mainly in combination with other substances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 51, no 3, 312-318 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96842DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.05.007ISI: 000277112700013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96842DiVA: diva2:171551
Available from: 2008-03-14 Created: 2008-03-14 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Anabolic Androgenic Steroids and Criminality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anabolic Androgenic Steroids and Criminality
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) have been associated with adverse psychiatric effects, aggression and violent behaviour. The use of them has spread to a larger subpopulation, and the use has been connected to different risk behaviours, such as use of other illicit substances and carrying a gun. Case reports tell about a connection between AAS use and violent crimes, including homicide. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the proposed connection between AAS and crime, focusing on violent crimes, and to inquire into whether this proposed connection between AAS and criminality is affected by other risk factors for criminal behaviour.

The first two studies of this thesis investigated the registered criminality of individuals testing positively for AAS, with individuals testing negatively serving as control groups. In the two last studies individuals at a clinic for substance abuse treatment (Paper III) and in a prison (Paper IV) were asked about their use of AAS, and their history was assessed using the Addiction Severity Index.

The main finding of Paper I was the development of criminal patterns over time, with a clear increase of the proportion of violent crimes and weapons offences seen only among the pure AAS users. In Paper II an increased risk for weapons offences among AAS users was reported. In Paper III an increased risk of having been prosecuted for violent crimes and of having been physically abused was seen among the AAS users. In Paper IV, the main finding was the close resemblance of users and non users.

In summary, this thesis have concluded that the violence previously reported as connected to use of AAS can, to a large extent, be accounted for by other risk factors. There seems, however, to be a connection between use of AAS and a heavy, more planned form of criminality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 47 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 318
Keyword
Psychiatry, Anabolic steroids, Violence, Crime, Substance abuse, Psykiatri
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8508 (URN)978-91-554-7118-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-04-04, Hörsalen, ing. D1, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 17, Uppsala, 09:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-03-14 Created: 2008-03-14Bibliographically approved
2. Characteristics and Consequences of Use of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in Poly Substance Abuse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Characteristics and Consequences of Use of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in Poly Substance Abuse
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 81 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 372Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 372
Keyword
Anabolic steroids, Crime, morbidity, mortality, substance abuse
National Category
Forensic Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9261 (URN)978-91-554-7270-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-09-25, Hörsalen, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 17, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-04 Last updated: 2010-02-08Bibliographically approved

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Klötz, FiaPetersson, AnnaThiblin, Ingemar

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