'Roid rage a concern as police keep a lid on violence

THE prevalence of the "king hit" culture on Australian streets is a cause for concern for many regions.

The situation in the central Queensland town of Gladstone - in terms of violence in the CBD - is under control for now, but local police remain wary of enforcing a hard line when it comes to alcohol and drug-fuelled violence in the town.

It is not just alcohol that is sparking these violent and damaging incidents.

Steroid use has become more prominent in young Australian males, with GPs warning of the dangerous combination of young men with "roid rage" going out and drinking to excess.

BITS Medical Centre's Dr Gaston Boulanger said recent studies conducted with rodents and hamsters had returned alarming results.

"Studies on rodents and hamsters showed the majority of them when given anabolic steroids, about 80% of subjects displayed increased aggression," Dr Boulanger said.

"Alcohol is also known to increase aggression, decrease fear and people tend to become more primal, their conscience also becomes lowered."

The doctor said issues with anabolic steroid use were that there was still so much unknown about the effects of the illegal substances on the human body.

"The biggest problem with anabolic steroids is that they're all in illegal circulation; doctors can't prescribe them and people don't learn about them in schools," he said.

He said the chances of someone displaying a tendency for violence would be heightened if using a combination of anabolic steroids and alcohol, which may explain the recent rise in incidents as more and more young men turn to steroids to achieve their desired physiques.

"When you're drinking the alcohol affects the frontal part of the brain, which controls the animal part of your brain and the frontal lobes are not working normally, which means people don't see the consequences of their actions," he said.

"In combination with roid rage it (alcohol) just makes it worse, it's not a good combination."

Gladstone Police acting Inspector Matt Russell said it was an issue that local officers were well aware of when patrolling the CBD.

"Things are under control at the moment. The Christmas and New Year period was business as usual. There were no real increases in incidents," he said.

Anabolic steroid side effects: Acne/pimples, testicle shrinkage, increased level of female hormones after course of steroids, high blood pressure, enlarged prostate, hair loss, weight gain, increased risk of Hep C or HIV when injecting, liver problems.

Topics:  gladstone police king hit steroids street violence

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