"Mer hjelp, mindre moralpreken": Hva brukere av anabole-androgene steroider ønsker fra helsetjenestene
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2018, 35 (1), 69-76. 10.1177/1455072517748871
Background: Anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use can lead to increased muscle mass and strength as well as undesired side effects with varying severities. In Norway, the specialized health services responsible for treating substance use disorders are also responsible for help provision to AAS users with health problems. The aim of this study was to find out how health services can be made more accessible to AAS users in need of treatment. Methods: A questionnaire was posted on four online forums, and explored the following themes: use of AAS, side effects, need for health services, and interest in health services. Results: Seventy-four respondents answered the questionnaire, of which 57 were current AAS users and 17 were previous users. Only one of the previous users had received treatment after ceasing use of AAS; the majority ceased use without external assistance. To facilitate uptake of health services, respondents identified assurance of confidentiality, treatment provider expertise of AAS, and respect during treatment as important factors. Most respondents expressed interest in a no-obligation health assessment. Conclusion: Increased knowledge of AAS among health services providers may help counteract stigma, build up users’ trust in help provision, and reach those who want health services without disclosing their AAS use. AAS users should be made aware of providers’ confidentiality obligations and the fact that treatment will not lead to punishment. Treatment offers which include easy access to a no-obligation health assessment and information about treatment options may be key to reaching AAS users in need.