Number of steroid users doubling each year
The number of people putting their long-term health at risk by using steroids is doubling each year, health officials have claimed.
It is believed that around 10,000 people in UK are using the drugs as part of workout regimes despite them carrying dangerous side effects such as liver and heart complications as well as premature hair loss and shrinking testicles.
Steroids are used as a quick way of gaining muscle mass and until recently were taken by bodybuilding and sportsmen looking for a way to cheat in their field.
However, in these body-conscious times the number of people taking them has soared.
Mike Linnell, from drug and health charity Lifeline, said: "A lot of them are very intelligent, a lot of them are working, a lot of them are well informed about their drug use.
"But that isn't to say that there aren't risks and that isn't to say those risks aren't growing as they're using more drugs and as more people become involved in it."
One 22-year-old steroid user from Middlesbrough, named only as Jonathan, told the BBC that he had been using anabolic steroids for over a year because he wants to get ahead as a power lifter.
He said that although the drugs are not addictive, people get addicted to results and seeing their body form change.
"They take more, they take them for a longer and because they're on for so long, when they come off they crash," he added.
However, he warned that often people don't know what they are really taking.
"If you're getting it off the internet it could be anything," he said.
"You don't know what's in that vial, it could say anything, it could be paint stripper, you don't know what you're putting into your body."