Almost 130 adult steroid users presented to one clinic in the past six months - but a leading HSE psychiatrist has warned adolescent drug services are "patchy" and teens may have nowhere locally to turn.
Coroner Philip Comyn warned earlier this week about the dangers of steroid use after sports-loving 18-year-old Luke O'Brien May, from Grange, Co Limerick, died after taking the drug.
Luke became ill while doing his Leaving Cert. He was seen for a suspected vomiting bug and was hospitalised on June 13, 2017, at University Hospital Limerick. He was transferred to Cork University Hospital where he died.
Dr Robert Plant told the inquest a CT scan revealed a "devastating" swelling of the brain.
Merchants Quay Ireland, a Dublin drug help service, reported 127 steroid users had used its needle exchange service from January to June this year - 125 of these were men and just two were women. The majority were aged over 45.
Merchants Quay chief executive Tony Geoghegan said: "It's almost 50-50 the reasons why young men are taking steroids. For some it's for sport and competitions, particularly bodybuilding.
"But for others it's for vanity. They want to look good and these young men account for a slightly higher proportion of steroid users that we see."
Dr Gerry McCarney, HSE consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, said that anecdotally they have heard of the drug being used by teenagers
Source: Laura Lynott, The Irish Independent, 09/07/18