Supplying Steroids Online: The cultural and market contexts of enhancement drug supply on one of the World's largest fitness & bodybuilding forums

Turnock, Luke A. (2021) Supplying Steroids Online: The cultural and market contexts of enhancement drug supply on one of the World's largest fitness & bodybuilding forums. PPRI Criminology series . Plymouth Policy Research Institute, Plymouth. ISBN 9798711558279

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The use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) is a growing focus for researchers, policy makers, public health workers and others, as consumption of these drugs appears to be on the increase, fuelled by both cultural shifts, and economic and technological changes in the 21st century. In order to fully understand the contexts of this increasingly significant form of drug use, and offer an informed approach to policy, it is necessary to understand the market in these drugs, and the ways in which access and supply operate at all market levels.
Whilst existing research both in local gym contexts and investigating supply through ‘online pharmacies’ has been revealing, many seeking to use steroids rely on online bodybuilding and ‘fitness’ forums for information, and ‘peer-to-peer’ supply of these drugs, and the market operations of these popular subcultural spaces have to date been under-researched. This work consequently offers an in-depth exploration of the market for IPEDs found on one of the most popular of these forums, drawing on data from over 28,800 unique forum posts, examining:
• the motivations of buyers and sellers in using this marketplace;
• the economic mechanisms by which the market operates, and its key features;
• how steroids are accessed at the higher levels of the ‘supply chain’, and how their ‘journey’ to being sold on forums of this type;
• the differences between forum-based supply compared to other markets in these drugs, and how this impacts risk and policy.
This work grounds findings in the cultural contexts of online ‘fitness’ cultures, and broader prevailing online political philosophies, to offer real understanding of the ‘inside’ details of how such markets operate.
This book makes significant contributions to the understanding of IPED consumption and risk by offering a substantial exploration of how the market for steroids operates on popular fitness forums, and in doing so informs the existing literature on both local market contexts, and broader forms of online supply such as ‘online pharmacies’. Further, the ethnographic approach of the work allows for significant contributions to be made to overall understanding of the cultural contexts to the online supply of IPEDs, and how supply operates within digital bodybuilding and fitness cultures.

Keywords:Steroid, IPED, Supply, Online drug market, digital ethnography
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:44103
Deposited On:23 Feb 2021 15:48

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