Steroid use for image reasons 'worrying', says minister

Rebecca Evans
Image caption Rebecca Evans said steroids were 'not just a problem in sport'

A "worrying" number of young people are taking steroids, the social services and public health minister has said.

Rebecca Evans said the use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPED) for "image reasons" was a growing problem, particularly in parts of south Wales.

She was speaking at a meeting of charities and sports authorities at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

Ms Evans said:"[It's] not just a problem in sport - it is a wider societal issue.

"There are a worrying number of young people, especially men, purchasing and taking illicit substances for image reasons and some then participating in community sport.

"We must reverse this culture of IPED use if we are to protect a generation of young people from the serious side effects they can cause."

The Welsh Government said IPED use had been linked to heart disease, liver damage and mental health issues and it invested almost £50m a year to tackle substance misuse.

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