Neha Ainsworth: From anabolic steroids to research chemicals

Neha Ainsworth (Kingston University 2017 3MT Runner-up) ‘From anabolic steroids to research chemicals: Exploring the substance use culture in the gym-going population.’

Harm reduction is an effective, evidence-based concept designed to help people who partake in potentially risky behaviours. However, in order to do it well, we need to increase our knowledge on both the communities and activities in question. My research aims to do exactly this in the context of performance enhancing drug use amongst gym goers. The attached negative stigma, as well as inconsistencies in knowledge, means that it is difficult to create viable harm reduction policies. The goal of my research is not only to understand the experiences of users better through interviews, but also to understand the physiological effects of these substances. The aim is to formulate a holistic, multi-faceted knowledge base in order to help the community to make informed decisions about their use. My work will also help bridge the gap between the academic community and the PED (performance enhancing drug) using community.

First supervisor: Prof Andrea Petroczi