New research has revealed that up to one million UK residents prefer to take anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to improve their appearance rather than sport results.
Earlier, a survey cited at least half of British respondents as saying that the "development of body image" prompted them to take IPEDs.
Josie Smith, the head of the substance misuse program at Public Health Wales, told The Guardian that in Wales, even 13-year-old boys are known to use IPEDs.
"It has become normal and acceptable. From a public health perspective, there are genuine and very real concerns," she said.
She was echoed by Commander Simon Bray of the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for drugs, who recalled that "while the possession of anabolic steroids is not a criminal offence, the sale or distribution of them is."
He warned that "there are significant risks to the health of young people who misuse steroids for non-medical reasons."
Those young people who used steroids may face such health problems as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and strokes in their 40s and 50s, according to British medics.
Meanwhile, police have reported an increase in the number of underground laboratories making steroids in the UK over the past few years.