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A significant survey conducted on the use of muscle enhancing injections in secondary schools across Australia show that steroid use among Australian kids is higher than that of the general population.

The survey findings reveal that 2.4 per cent of 12

to 17 year old kids reported they have been using muscle enhancing injections.

The usage rate is much higher than that observed across the population, said Dr Matthew Dunn, researcher at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC).

Dr Dunn said when compared to specific groups such as weightlifters and body builders, the rate of use among high school teens are low.

However, he said, ... the general population prevalence of steroid use is 0.1 per cent, so it's quite a lot higher than that.

The data analyzed by Dr Dunn was gathered as part of a bigger survey on substance abuse which involved a total of 22,000 students from 376 secondary schools Australia-wide.

The findings also revealed teens who admitted to previous steroid use were also more likely to admit experimenting with other illegal substance like cannabis.

The reported steroid use among students was irregular, Dr Dunn said usually up to one or two times in the previous year, which means it would not have given the intended effect.

The students who have used steroids tended to have lower performance in their studies, were usually males and not always active in sports.

Steroids are used in cycles, along with engaging in physical activities and keeping a healthy diet, said Dr Dunn.

The students' usage of steroid is so infrequent that it is just trying something, not seeing a result from it and moving.

Dr Dunn's research emphasized the need for schools including sports and athletic programs, to broaden their drug and alcohol education program to include steroid use and its health implications.