Brighton and Hove Recovery Service

If you take image and performance enhancing drugs by injecting them, there are ways you can reduce the risks of injections.

You should always use brand new, clean equipment for every injection. You can get new equipment and dispose of used ones from a needle exchange service. 

You can find a needle exchange at any pharmacy where you see this logo:

the needle exchange logo

You can get advice, guidance and support around IPEDs and other substances from our service. You can also get access to free testing for blood borne viruses.  

Further information on image and performance enhancing drugs is also available at and

If you would like support around your use of other performance enhancing drugs (sometimes known as ‘nootropics’ or ‘cognitive enhancers’) such as modafinil, methylphenidate (MPH) and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), then please get in touch with us on 01273 731900.  

For professionals

The use of substances to improve parts of your physical prowess or appearance is not new, with the use of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS)  in bodybuilding and weightlifting going back nearly eighty years. However, the growth of online sources for PIEDs has expanded considerably over the last 25 years, as has the range of drugs available. 

Different people use PIEDs for different reasons, including:  

  • People participating in competitive sports (to enhance performance, including professional and amateur athletes) 
  • People doing specific jobs (to enhance physical ability or appearance related to their work, e.g., door and security staff)  
  • Recreational users (those using primarily for ‘body image’ reasons) 

IPEDs are linked to a wide range of physical and psychological effects. These can depend on the substance, dose, length of use, how they are taken,,  interactions with other drugs, and specific individual reactions.  

The most common reported issues include acne, unwanted physical changes (including the growth of breast tissue in men), a reduced sex drive, liver damage, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, menstrual problems, and psychological effects (including increased aggression, paranoia and mood swings). 

Many IPEDs are injected, which can cause injuries and infections. Poor injecting techniques can cause vein damage and abscesses. Sharing equipment can lead to the transmission of blood borne viruses like HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B.  

Find out more about image and performance enhancing drugs