Steroid use is on the rise in Australia. Recent figures from the Australian Crime Commission show that the number of steroid-linked arrests and seizures hit a record high in 2011-12. Data from the latest Australian Needle Syringe Program survey showed almost three-quarters of new needle drug users in NSW took image and performance enhancing drugs, predominantly steroids. In November last year, youth workers in Melbourne were reported as saying the number of illegal steroid users obtaining free injecting equipment is increasing, particularly among young men using late-night mobile services.
Scientists have attempted to test the association between anabolic steroids and aggression by administering high steroid doses or placebo for days or weeks to human volunteers and then asking the people to report on their behavioral symptoms. To date, four such studies have been conducted. In three, high steroid doses did produce greater feelings of irritability and aggression than did placebo, although the effects appear to be highly variable across individuals. In one study, the drugs did not have that effect. One possible explanation, according to the researchers, is that some but not all anabolic steroids increase irritability and aggression. Recent animal studies show an increase in aggression after steroid administration.