Anabolic steroids, otherwise known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are gaining widespread use, especially among athletes and gym enthusiasts.
These human-made/synthetic variants of the male sex hormone “testosterone” have continually found use in improving performance and enhancing physical appearance, especially among weightlifters.
This article collects most of the freely available statistics about the anabolic steroid industry
There are more than 30 statistics and facts defining the steroid industry and its patronizers. You’ll learn a lot about the market outlook, steroid usage by gender, age, activity, and the impact of steroids on society.
|Global Steroid Injections Market Size in 2020||$5.40 billion|
|Steroid Injections Market Annual Growth Rate (2020–2027)||6.2%|
Below are some critical statistics that offer a brief but comprehensive overview of the steroid industry. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry with a growing number of patronizers. We’ll present statistics about the industry players, revenue, projected growth, and other vital insights.
The global anabolic steroid injections market is projected to reach $8.22 billion in 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2020 to 2027. Drawing insight from these figures, the market should have a predicted value of $6.09 billion in 2022. (DBMR)
The top ten critical players in the anabolic steroid market include:
The amount of steroid manufacturing and consumption varies by country. These statistics indicate steroid usage in some developed countries and how much these countries manufacture. It also throws some light on countries where steroids are illegally smuggled from.
About 1 million British citizens use steroids (alongside other image- and performance-enhancing drugs [IPEDs]) to alter their appearance or improve performance, among a few other reasons.
This includes both teenagers and the elderly striving for a youthful or more muscular appearance.
Unlike older men, teenagers use steroids primarily to improve their physique. In some parts of the UK, up to 75% of the population uses steroids, including boys as young as 13. (The Guardian)
A few European nations and countries like Mexico are some of the top sources of illegal steroids smuggling into the US. In these countries, the sales of steroids lack adequate control as you can purchase them without a prescription. However, less popular illegal sources include siphoning from legal sources (in the form of illegal prescription and theft) and manufacturing within secret laboratories. (NIH)
The top 9 manufacturers of steroids are in the US and Europe. These are also the countries with some of the highest consumption of steroids. (MarketWatch)
This accounts for a staggering 25% of the total number of police officers in US urban settings, many of whom do so as a defense against street criminals. (Sports Illustrated)
For individuals that haven’t committed a previous drug crime, the punishment for simply possessing illegally obtained anabolic steroids is a one-year prison sentence alongside a maximum fine of $1,000. The penalty may increase to a five-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $250,000 if this happens to be the individual’s first felony drug crime. The penalty doubles if this is the individual’s second felony drug crime. (DEA Diversion)
This section provides a general/diverse outlook on the use and manufacture of steroids. Let’s have a look.
A mouthwatering 48.7% of AAS users get their information about steroids from the internet, with 17.3% holding an unfavorable view of AAS. Moreover, 73.8% of AAS users know the side effects and complications of taking AAS. (Inverse)
In a study involving 762 participants, researchers found that 51.5% of respondents used testosterone propionate, with an average dosage of 1,000 mg per week. (Inverse)
A study found that only about 50% of manufacturers indicate all AAS types contained on their labels. Approximately 40% of products with incomplete labelings are from Eastern Europe and Asia, while 60% are manufactured in illegal underground laboratories. (NCBI)
It may come as a surprise that AAS users spend an average of 268 hours researching AAS before settling for one. It appears that such a high level of research may be due to the low level of confidence AAS users have in the knowledge of pharmacists or physicians on the topic. Notably, below 10% of AAS users trust the knowledge of a pharmacist or physician when it comes to steroids. (ACSM)
More than 99% of steroid users inject the drug into their system, with 80% of these mixing different AAS compounds. Due to the high level of research and awareness among these steroid users, 40% of them use ancillary drugs to pre-empt the side effects of these drugs. (ACSM)
Athletes are among the highest users of steroids, and they do these for various reasons. The statistics in this section highlight steroid usage in sports among different age groups and countries.
More than 10% of famous athletes use steroids. The figure is also high among competitors who aren’t famous. (The Recovery Village)
A 2016 study found that 29.3% of gym enthusiasts in Saudi Arabia use steroids, and 53.5% have heard about their use. More specifically, awareness about the effect of steroids on muscle strength, mass, and body weight were 45.5%, 53.2%, and 51.1%, respectively. (ScienceDirect)
The stats presented here are related to steroid use among bodybuilders. These include statistics on how many bodybuilders use steroids, how often they do so, and the extent of usage among men and women.
|Bodybuilders who aren’t satisfied with their physique||93%|
|Gym attendees with muscle dysmorphia||46%|
A whopping 93% of bodybuilders who express dissatisfaction with their physique admit to using AAS. (Karger)
Male gym attendees with muscle dysmorphia are more likely to use AAS than those without it. Also, 46% of gym attendees with muscle dysmorphia are likely to use ASS, while only 7% of regular gym attendees would. (Karger)
Strength gains from steroids range anywhere from 5% to 20%. (Maryville University)
A study found that up to 54% of all male bodybuilders use anabolic steroids regularly, compared to 10% of female competitors. Participants used anywhere from 1 to 15 different steroids during the year, with the average being four steroid types. (PubMed)
A study involving 5,773 participants from 100 gyms in Curitiba city found that 16.9% of men are former or current users of anabolic steroids compared to 6.5% in females. This number was less in previous years, and the sharp increase appears to result from the gym environment promoting steroids for aesthetic appeal. Additionally, a 2015 all-female study discovered that 25% of female goers of a particular gym use steroids. (BMC Public Health) (Springer Link)
More men use steroids than females and for various reasons. The statistics in this section emphasize how many men or females have used steroids or still use steroids. Some stats examine these numbers in high school and among age groups.
|Age Group (Years)||Prevalence|
Reports about steroid use in females aren’t consistent. This may be due to the time lapse between respective studies. A 2017 CDC survey found that 2.4% of female students have used steroids at some point in their lives, amounting to 1 out of every 42 teenage girls. (CDC) (The Recovery Village)
|Male Recreational Athletes||18.4%|
Studies report that a surprising 3.3% of high school students use AAS. (Maryville University)
The highest users of steroids are men aged 20–40. That’s due to their engagement in weight lifting, bodybuilding, mixed martial arts, strongman competitions, general martial arts, kickboxing, and tournaments. Only 3% of men use steroids for better looks. Despite the relentless online hyperbole about drug-built physiques, no more than 5% of users derive their inspiration online. (NCBI)
This section focuses primarily on steroid usage statistics among teens. You’ll learn just how many teens use steroids, why they do that, and how much they know about the effects of steroids. As teens are primarily in high school, some stats are about how schools deal with students’ steroids usage.
Most studies indicate that 3–12% of adolescent boys have once used anabolic steroids, while this figure sits at 1–2% for adolescent females. Insights from 2018 MTF data showed that 0.6% of female 8th graders and 0.5% of female 10th graders had used steroids in the last 12 months. This figure sits at 0.6% and 0.8% for male 8th and 10th graders, respectively. (The Recovery Village) (Monitoring the Future)
Teens represent more than 75% of steroid users. (Verywell Family)
Of the 1.5 million steroid users among teens, 62.5% do so to improve their image, such as more prominent muscles. (123Helpme)
As widespread as the use of steroids among teens is, only a meager 20% of US high schools drug-test their athletes. Despite this unencouraging number, in schools that do, coaches tend to keep silent about it for fear of lawsuits from parents. (The Recovery Village)
These statistics show the extent of steroid abuse among users and how it affects them. It also includes statistics about how users perceive steroids and their likelihood of recommending them to friends.
Some 32% of steroid abusers become dependent, and 56% never tell their doctor about it. Similarly, 30% of steroid users develop dependency syndrome. (Maryville University) (AAFP) (PubMed)
A study of 545 male steroid users found that 1.3% of them died over 7.4 years — a three-fold increase in death risk compared to non-users. In other words, steroid users are at a higher risk of premature death than non-users. (ScienceDirect)
One Swedish study found that 40% of deaths from steroid abuse are homicide or suicide. A separate study found that 30% of AAS users have attempted suicide due to anger, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and more. (NCBI)
A study in Saudi Arabia found that 69.7% of AAS users don’t know for how long they’ve been using steroids. (Electronic Physician)
Since AAS users spend more than 250 hours of research before using AAS, it’s logical to expect a deep interest in adverse effects. On the contrary, 77% of AAS users in Saudi Arabia would recommend it to friends despite knowing about its adverse effects. This suggests that most AAS users consider the benefits worth any associated side effects. However, this number is smaller in Iran, where only a few participants recommend AAS to athletes for improved performance. (ACSM)
A study found that only 1% of steroid abusers are female. (NCBI)
This article pools more than 30 different statistics and facts highlighting critical information about the steroid industry and its impact on society. It’s evident from these figures the need for greater administrative control over steroid sales and use around the world. Health damages from steroids are severe and growing with the increasing number of users, especially in developed countries. Parents of teens are also advised to keep a watchful eye over their children’s conduct, particularly teens who engage in competitive sports or bodybuilding.
123Helpme AAFP ACSM BMC Public Health CDC DBMR DEA Diversion Electronic Physician GlobeNewswire Inverse Karger MarketWatch Maryville University Monitoring the Future NCBI NIH NIH Persistence Market Research PubMed PubMed ScienceDirect ScienceDirect Sports Illustrated Springer Link The Guardian The Recovery Village The Recovery Village Verywell Family Wiley
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