Stability of the relationships between anabolic steroid use and multiple substance use among adolescents

Robert H. Durant, Carolyn Seymore Ashworth, Cheryl Newman, Vaughn I. Rickert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In a previous study, we tested the hypothesis that because adolescent anabolic steroid users are concerned with increasing muscle size and strength they are different from other substance users and are unlikely to use other drugs. Alternatively, if the causal factors of anabolic steroid use are similar to those for use of other substances, then adolescent anabolic steroid users would be expected to report poly drug use. Study findings confirmed the second hypothesis. Purpose: To test the stability of the relationships between anabolic steroid use and poly drug use over a four month period among ninth grade students. Methods: All ninth grade students (1422) enrolled in compulsory health science classes in a county school system who had previously completed a modified version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 1989 Health Risk Survey and the 1990 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in November 1990 were asked to repeat the survey in February 1991. Results: A higher percentage of males (4.7 percent) than females (2.9 percent, P ≤ 0.018) reported anabolic steroid use without a doctor's prescription. As was found in the initial study, frequency of anabolic steroid use was significantly (P < 0.001) associated with frequency of use in the last 30 days of cocaine, injectable drugs, alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco. When those variables were analyzed with multiple regression analysis, the same four variables continued to be the best predictors of the frequency of anabolic steroid use, although the order that the variables entered into the multiple regression model changed. Use of smokeless tobacco, shared needles, cocaine, and marijuana explained more variation in the frequency of anabolic steroid use in the replication study (48.5%) than initially (32.8%). Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that adolescent anabolic steroid users are also likely to use other drugs and are engaging in shared needle use. These relationships remained relatively stable over a four month period of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1994

Keywords

  • Anabolic steroid use Adolescent substance use Injectable drug use AIDS/HIV risk-taking behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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