Many teens in secondary schools are experimenting with anabolic steroids, according to a survey of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC).

The survey of 22,000 students from 376 secondary schools across Australia found that 2.7 percent of 12 to 17 year olds were using the muscle-enhancing compound.

NDARC researcher Dr. Matthew Dunn said the percentage is higher than the rate of steroid use by the entire population, which is 0.1 percent.

The survey described the steroid users as usually male, those with poor performance in school and those who are not always involved in sports.

Dunn recommended that schools should have drug and alcohol education programs that also focus on steroids. Sport and athletic programs should also highlight the risks involved in steroid abuse.