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Journal: Sports Psychiatry

Kongress: ICSP 2022

Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs IPED

According to estimates in the literature, over a quarter of a million people in Switzerland use image- and performance-enhancing drugs IPED. This use is mostly in the so-called fitness and bodybuilding scene. The users want to achieve a certain appearance and they also consume drugs for this purpose. In this scene the use of IPED is widespread and is further promoted by social media. The affected people seldom seek medical help, although the side effects and damage are serious and lasting, affecting almost all organs.

The IPED application is usually hidden from the treating physicians and the patients do not trust medical professionals to have much knowledge about the topic and therefore do not talk about it. The use of IPED is often stigmatised by medical professionals. This leads to a trivialisation of a psycho-organic disease and a lack of medical support.

The aim of this research group is to investigate the use of IPED outside of competitive sports. This includes the identification, treatment and prevention of the causes and manifestations of dependence and abuse of IPED in recreational sports.


Samuel Iff, Ingo Butzke, Malte Christian Claussen

Correspondence to Samuel Iffsamuel.iff[at]


Strong, silent and stigmatized

[Article in German] Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPED) im Freizeitsport

Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Sportpsychiatrie und -psychotherapie SGSPP