The growing trend for young men to use steroids to enhance their self-image is the subject of a conference being held in Liverpool.
It is claimed that many users do not know the risks of the drug
It is thought that numbers are growing as men try to attain the body shapes seen in films and magazines.
The event has been organised by The Centre for Public Health at John Moores University in Liverpool.
Head of Substance Use at the Centre Jim McVeigh said the increasing use of such drugs was a major public health issue.
He claims that many of those who take these drugs, in particular anabolic steroids, are suffering with both physically and psychologically effects.
Dr Rob Dawson, the medical officer at the Drugs in Sport Clinic, said he believed too much time had been spent concentrating on the use of performance enhancing drugs by athletes when this was just the tip of the iceberg.
"The main body [of users] consists of anabolic steroids users who are not engaged in competitive sport.
"We need to focus on this section of the population."
George Chatziroufas, needles exchange officer at Hope Street drug centre in Liverpool, has seen evidence of increasing numbers of young men using such drugs.
"Some people are taking them because they do want to get into body building or sport but a growing number are taking them because they want to look good fast.
"Most people think to inject steroids is a quick fix, but they don't have enough information."
There are many health problems associated with prolonged steroid use including abscesses, infections, heart problems, kidney problems, high blood pressure and the development of breast tissue in men, hair loss and increased aggression.