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April 7, 1989

National Institute on Drug Abuse May Join in Anabolic Steroid Research

JAMA. 1989;261(13):1855-1856. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420130013003

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WHILE MOST recent public attention on anabolic steroids has been drawn to the Canadian hearings to determine the extent of use in sports, a group of US experts met a few days ago in Rockville, Md, to review what is known about these drugs from a research standpoint.

Their consensus is that prospects for reducing the demand are bleak. "The use of anabolic steroids is too consistent with societal values—bigger, stronger, taller, faster—to be eradicated," James E. Wright, PhD, said in his summation remarks.

The technical review meeting on anabolic steroid abuse was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at a hotel near its Rockville headquarters. Wright, author of two books on anabolic steroids, is research director of the Adirondack Mountain Foundation, Jay, NY.

Other points brought out at the meeting include the following:

  • A secretive subculture exists that is built around the use of anabolic steroids,