News: Australian Crime Experts Call for Anabolic Steroid Testing Amid ‘Coward Punch Epidemic’
Blog Entry #30
By Dan Chaiet, Senior Editor – Steroidal.com
It seems as though there has been a recent concern over the link that anabolic steroids (as well as other illicit drugs) have with the consumption of alcohol as they relate to an epidemic of fights and assaults. What intrigues me about this news article is the fact that unlike American news, which would in this case focus exclusively and solely on anabolic steroids as being the causative factor, Australian news tends to take a more all-encompassing view upon these assaults and emphasizes personal responsibility above all else.
Alcohol-induced fights, brawls, assaults, and attacks have been a concern in Australia, but what has recently been determined by authorities such as the state’s top criminologist Dr Don Weatherburn is that the use of anabolic steroids in conjunction with alcohol is leading to an increased occurrence of random assaults, leaving many severely injured or dead. Dr Weatherburn told the media that there are definite links between anabolic steroids and violence, as well as alcohol and violence, but there is very little that is known about the effects of the two combined. This is the real concern here. Furthermore, anabolic steroids are not the only contributing substances being looked at here. According to Dr Weatherburn, methamphetamines are also responsible as contributing factors, stating that the combination of alcohol, methamphetamines and anabolic steroids creates a “toxic brew”.
As a result, Dr Weatherburn wishes to begin studying those who are convicted of these assault crimes in order to study and determine whether or not the combination really has a significant effect of increasing aggression and violence in individuals. Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch backed Dr Weatherburn’s idea of testing and studying these individuals. The other problem here is that the police believe that biker gangs are having a significant amount of influence in these situations, as in Australia, they tend to be behind the booming black market for performance enhancing drugs.
Now, the important thing to realize here is that although the article does focus on anabolic steroids and PEDs, it is merely outlining the fact that the combination of PEDs with alcohol (and perhaps other drugs such as stimulants) needs to be studied, as they have not been studied in the past. There is basically one real issue here that even the Australian media has outlined that needs to be addressed:
1. Personal responsibility. This is perhaps the single focal aspect of this news article. The problem here is not the alcohol, it is not the anabolic steroids, or other drugs. The problem is with the individual. The one and only thing that distinguishes between people that decide to punch someone and those that don’t is the individual themselves. People must take responsibility for their own actions. There are more (far more) individuals who utilize anabolic steroids that are not violent and do not get into violent conflicts than those who do not. The article also clearly outlined the fact that the mates of those violent individuals need to step in and take responsibility to mediate and stop their violent mates from acting out on innocents.
Even the deputy commander Nick Kadlas of the NSW (New South Wales) Police in Australia had the following to say:
“We can look at legislation, we can look at punishment, we can look at all of that, but the underlying problem we have to tackle, the fundamental problem is that people do not accept responsibility either for their own actions or for the actions of their mates. In each of the instances we’ve seen in the recent past, the offender has been accompanied by someone, usually mates. All of those people have never seen fit to say to them “hang on mate, it’s not worth it, let’s pull back, let’s get out of here.””.
Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again in clinical studies that the use of anabolic steroids does not create bouts of uncontrollable random rage (commonly dubbed ‘roid rage’) and that a very small percentage of individuals who go on to use them will have adverse psychological reactions. In such cases, it is once again the responsibility of the individual to make the proper judgment call and refrain from the use of anabolic steroids. If the individual elects to continue use and lands himself in a violent situation, the individual should be punished – not the drug.
Additionally, it seems as though the social dynamics of anabolic steroid use has shifted quite a bit now compared to 20 or more years ago. Whereas anabolic steroids were at one time used primarily by athletes, eventually the social dynamic progressed to include the average fitness/bodybuilding enthusiast, and now to a much broader user base that seems to be attracting individuals with violent propensities and backgrounds. Perhaps the other major issue here is that many individuals today who are attracted to anabolic steroid use are violent and belligerent individuals to begin with? This certainly is a problem with the individuals themselves, and not the drugs.
As a personal note, I have experienced this myself. Upon the discovery that I was a knowledgeable individual in this field (PEDs), a person asked me about advice in regards to the first-time use of a cycle. I asked the individual what his reason for use was, after which he promptly exclaimed to me that he ‘wanted to be big, intimidating, and scare people’ that he could get into fights with.
With more and more violence-prone individuals attracted to anabolic steroid use, it is no wonder that assaults such as these that are conducted by individuals who were using anabolic steroids at the time have become an epidemic in Australia. Other factors might include the fact that because anabolic steroids are currently a black market drug in the west, criminals are naturally attracted to its use and trade.