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Original articles  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2007 September;47(3):356-60

language: English

Telephone counseling of athletes abusing anabolic-androgenic steroids

Takahashi M., Tatsugi T., Kohno Y.

Faculty of Physical Education International Budo University, Chiba, Japan


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Aim. Drug abuse, most notably anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use, in athletes is widespread. As a result, athletes and exercise enthusiasts who abuse these drugs are troubled by the side effects of these illicit drugs, especially AAS. In an attempt to improve this situation, since 1993, we have counseled athletes who abuse drugs and others with questions about AAS via telephone and tabulated the results.
Methods. Counseling sessions took place by telephone every Monday between 19:00-23:00 h. The number of cases was tabulated each year and the specific items discussed during each consultation were categorized by key words. Cases consisted of both drug abusers and athletes who did not abuse drugs and were concerned about the side effects or other various problems surrounding the use of AAS.
Results. From 1993 to 1996, there were about 50 cases yearly; thereafter, the number of consultations dropped to about 30 to 40 cases each year. In 2002, consultations with drug abusers accounted for 52.2% of all consultations, compared with 46% of all consultations from 1993 to 2002.
Conclusion. We have found that abusers of endocrine agents exist in Japan, as well as elsewhere. We hope these results will demonstrate the necessity of employing public institutional counseling systems for athletes who are drug abusers in Japan, similar to the successful system instituted by the Swedish National Service.

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