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‘My mind pretty much went to mush’: A qualitative exploration of trenbolone in the performance and image enhancing drug community
journal contributionposted on 2023-04-26, 00:55 authored by TM Piatkowski, DL Neumann, Matthew DunnMatthew Dunn
Introduction: There are a variety of harms associated with anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS), with some AAS associated with an increased risk profile for users. Despite potentially different risk profiles, these harms are seldom discussed with respect to specific compounds although recent ethnographic research has identified a need to do so. Specifically, myth has developed among users with trenbolone reportedly having more dramatic effects on individuals, with reports of aggression, violent behaviour and extreme mood disturbances, and this is reflected in extant literature. This paper aims to report on the narrative surrounding the use of trenbolone among AAS users. Method: As part of a larger qualitative study, a number of AAS users were interviewed regarding their usage practices. A narrative emerged regarding the physical and psychological harms which accompanied their AAS use of which trenbolone played a central role (N = 16). Results: Of all the AAS, trenbolone was viewed as having the most deleterious consequences for those who used it. Users reported an extreme shift in risk profile for psychosocial harms, particularly increased aggression and violent behaviour, as well as impulsivity regulation issues. AAS-using peers and family members of users reported the readily observable effect of trenbolone. Discussion and Conclusions: Users should be cognisant of the potential for significant harms and health-care providers working with this group may consider more focused screening strategies. Future policy decisions regarding AAS may wish to consider the pivotal role trenbolone plays in adverse outcomes for this unique group of substance users.