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Investigating the capacity of Australian drug information systems to detect changes in anabolic-androgenic steroid use and harms
journal contributionposted on 2023-04-26, 00:59 authored by Matthew DunnMatthew Dunn, B Whiteside
Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the capability of drug information and surveillance systems to detect and monitor trends in steroid use in Australia. Method: Surveys and systems from Australia were reviewed. Information such as the main purpose of the survey, frequency and method of data collection, population surveyed, capacity to collect information on steroid use, and prevalence of use in the target population was collected. Findings: Six surveys were identified. Two of the largest surveys are conducted at a general population level and approximately triennially, with the others conducted annually. Each is designed for a specific purpose and targets a specific group. Each has, to some extent, the capacity to collect information on steroid use. One survey (the Australian Needle and Syringe Programme Survey) is not designed to collect information on drug use per se yet appears to be the best at capturing potential changes in steroid use. Conclusions: Australia does not have a survey able to detect an increase in steroid use. The one survey which provides the most readily available annual data regarding use and harm is not designed specifically for this purpose. Previous recommendations to annually monitor steroids have not been implemented.