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Increase in steroid poisoning hospital admissions

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The number of teenagers admitted to hospital for steroid poisoning has increased by 42% in the last five years.

The Liberal Democrats have raised concern at the increasing numbers of under 18s taking steroids.

Hospital records have shown 138 under 18s were admitted to hospitals across England for steroid poisoning last year. Possession of the drugs is legal in the UK.

The risks of taking steroids include stunted growth, changes in the reproductive system and mood swings. Men may also experience a development in breast tissue while women risk the growth of facial hair.

Sharing injecting equipment puts people at risk of infections such as hepatitis and HIV.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, Tom Brake, said: ‘The dramatic increase in the number of children being admitted to hospitals for steroid misuse is extremely concerning.

‘It’s clear that many children feel increasingly pressured by society’s obsession with the perfect body and some are using steroids to try and deal with it. Ministers need to wake up to the fact that this is no longer just a problem that effects sports like body building but an issue for the whole of society.’

‘The Government needs to send a clear message by tackling those who are supplying these drugs and making possession without a prescription illegal.’

There has been a 64% increase in the number of adults being admitted to hospital for using steroids in the last five years. In London, the South West and the West Midlands admissions have more than doubled since 2003.

In the last five years only 14 people were found guilty of supplying anabolic steroids.

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