This week the journal Performance Enhancement & Health published Orlanda’s latest paper. This time a Response to a Commentary under the title ‘The case for ‘anabolics’ coaches: selflessness versus self-interest?’ . It is good to see Orlanda making her name in this research field, and the invitation by the journal to write this Response is evidence of this. Dr. Harvey is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences & Social Work.
The authors highlight that in the UK AAS (Anabolics Androgenic Steroid) are classified as Class C substances and supplying AAS, including via online from outside the UK, sharing or giving them away free, is unlawful and can lead to a jail sentence. However,Despite being banned in many sports, the use of AAS per se is not illegal and, therefore, health promoters should offer advice, information and support to users as a pragmatic, although not perfect, solution. Since an ‘informal’ structure already exists, health promotion agencies should consider using ‘anabolics coaches’ in their endeavours. If ‘anabolics coaches’ could bring together the prevention-focused medical profession, a harm-minimisation approach, and those from the users’ subculture to develop a platform whereby they can take an inter-disciplinary approach then an opportunity exists to do a lot of good.
- Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) The case for ‘anabolics’ coaches: selflessness versus self-interest? Performance Enhancement & Health, 10(3) August, 100230
Congratulations to FHSS Social Worker Dr. Orlanda Harvey, whose Ph.D. paper ‘Support for non-prescribed anabolic androgenic steroids users: a qualitative exploration of their needs’ published this week in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy .
|Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are used by the general population (particularly male gym users) for their anabolic effects (increased muscle mass). Few studies have sought AAS users’ views on what information and support they need. This study focuses on ideal support wanted by people who use AAS. Interviews were conducted with 23 self-declared adult AAS users. Using thematic analysis, six themes were identified aligned to support and information wanted by AAS users: (1) specific types of information wanted: managing risks, (2) mechanisms for communication of advice, (3) specific types of support wanted: medical and emotional, (4) stigmatisation of people who use AAS, (5) paying for support services, (6) legality of AAS use.
This interesting qualitative piece of work was submitted over one year ago (August 2019) it was accepted by the journal late last year (13th Dec ember 2019 and published online the following months. It has taken from January 2020 till mid-September to appear in the print issue!
The paper is co-authored by Orlanda’s supervisors: Dr. Margarete Parrish, Dr. Steven Trenoweth and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. Moreover, this is Orlanda’s third paper from her thesis research, her systematic literature review has been published in BMC Public Health  and a further findings papers has been submitted to an academic journal.
- Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E., Trenoweth, S. (2020) Support for non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids users: A qualitative exploration of their needs Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 27:5, 377-386. doi 10.1080/09687637.2019.1705763
- Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMC Public Health 19: 1024 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7288-x https://rdcu.be/bMFon
Congratulations to Orlanda Harvey on the publication of her paper ‘Shades of Grey’: The Ethics of Social Work Practice in Relation to Un-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroid Use. Orlanda Harvey is a PhD student in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences with a research interest in image and performance enhancing drug (IPED) use. Her paper will be published in Practice: Social Work in Action.
This paper highlights ethical dilemmas that social workers face when assessing risk in relation to those using substances. It explores how legislation and societal factors can impact not just on people’s choices and decisions but also on their ‘vulnerability’ and access to services. Vulnerability, a contested term, is linked, in this paper, to assessment of risk. There are ethical issues that arise when assessing risk with people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) from both service user and professional perspectives. These ethical issues concern a person’s right to choose whilst making potentially harmful decisions. The paper argues that using substances such as AAS in and of itself does not suffice to make a person vulnerable but this does not mean that people using AAS are not in need of support. It suggests that there may be some groups of people who are more at risk to starting AAS use and that social workers should be aware of these. It also recommends the need for further qualitative research to understand the reasons for starting use and support to help people stop using AAS.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen