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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 10:04 GMT
Boys of 12 are abusing steroids
bodybuilder
Boys are taking steroids to get big muscles
Boys as young as 12 and 13 are using anabolic steroids to beef up their bodies in a bid to "get girls", government advisers have warned.

Latest figures show that 200,000 people in Britain have tried bodybuilding anabolic steroids - including an increasing number of teenage boys.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs called for a government awareness campaign on the health hazards.

Steroids can make the testicles wither and cause sterility.

This stuff isn't being used just by people who want to be athletes, but by people who want to be in boy bands and get girls
Lord Victor Adebowale, a member of the advisory council

The council, which was holding its first meeting in public since it was set up in 1971, is considering the legal status of a list of 26 steroids and other substances which are not banned in Britain.

It is illegal to import or supply anabolic steroids, but it is lawful to possess them for personal use.

Experts say GPs are becoming more aware of the issue - one in three GPs had seen an anabolic steroid user.

Lord Victor Adebowale, a member of the advisory council and chief executive of the drugs charity Turning Point, told the meeting: "This stuff isn't being used just by people who want to be athletes, but by people who want to be in boy bands and get girls."

Health hazard

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, the council's chairman, said he would be alerting the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to the council's "very grave concerns" about the issue.

"This is a very serious potential problem way, way outside the elite athletes.

"It's our children we're talking about."

Sports administrators also expressed concerns that there will be a boom in steroids use in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "It is legitimate that we look to update the list of steroids controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, in particular in the lead up to the Olympics in 2012. Ministers await the Advisory Council's advice."



SEE ALSO
Men using steroids as 'image fix'
05 Oct 07 |  Merseyside
More young men 'using steroids'
13 Mar 07 |  South East Wales

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