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‘Roid rage’: Behind six-pack abs lie ugly underbelly of steroid abuse in Kashmir

Representational picture

Srinagar: Parvez (name changed) had been going to the gym for around three months to chisel his physique like bodybuilders.

However, he failed to achieve his goal. Later, he was advised to take anabolic steroids for quick and better muscular gains. And within the next few weeks, his muscle size suddenly grew.


However, alongside the good outer physique, Parvez had a sudden acne outburst and also started getting angry very often. He then developed other health complications.

Like Parvez, many youth in Kashmir have started abusing steroids in the name of bodybuilding.

Haider Baigh, online trainer and owner of ‘Livefit’, said ‘unscrupulous’ people or coaches were responsible for misguiding the youth.

“One has to be patient to develop a muscular physique. It requires a lot of hard work and patience coupled with a good diet. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous and unqualified coaches or persons tell youngsters to take steroids in the form of tablets or injections. These synthetic drugs do help in building muscle and size quickly when coupled with weight training but have serious side effects. It can cause organ failure in the long run,” he told The Kashmir Monitor. 

“These drugs usually damage the kidney and liver. People who take steroids also develop ‘roid rage’ that causes aggressive behavior. These drugs are abused everywhere and outside J&K too and have even caused deaths on occasions.”

A drug inspector wishing anonymity blamed easy availability of drugs without prescriptions as the main reason behind steroid abuse among bodybuilders.

“Unfortunately, one can buy any drug here without prescription in Kashmir. For example, a Nandrolone injection that is used to treat diseases like cancers is among the most common drug abused by bodybuilders. There are other drugs too that increase testosterone and are abused. Even an antibiotic has to be given after the doctor’s prescription but who buys it with one?” the drug inspector told The Kashmir Monitor.

Commissioner Food and Drug Administration (F&DA), Shakeel ur Rehman, said the department will be launching an awareness campaign in this regard and also take strict action against violations.

“It had come to my notice once or twice and we had then launched a raid at a couple of places. I will talk to the Drug Controller and seek a report and ask the concerned officials to monitor. We will also launch an awareness campaign in this regard,” the F&DA commissioner told The Kashmir Monitor.