“I Feel Like I’m Walking the Line; One Side It’s Manageable, the Other Side It’s F**king prison”: exploring the Dual Nature of User-Manufacturers of Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs

Timothy Piatkowski Piatkowski*, Nicholas Gibbs, Matthew Dunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This Bourdieusian study interrogates the practices of an Australian-based “user-manufacturer” of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs). Extending the concept of illicit drug “user-dealers”, we draw upon a case study of an IPED user-manufacturer, “Meiko”, to interrogate steroid-user habitus, the importance of reputation and community trust, and the minimization of risk through referral-only interactions and low-profile branding. Findings reveal a user-manufacturer community engaged in domestic pro-duction of IPEDs, aided by Chinese suppliers of raw powders who have set up facilities in Australia. This research highlights the complex dynamics under-lying the underground market for IPEDs, emphasizing the interplay between cultural, economic, and bodily capital, and the strategic responses of user- manufacturers to their social context while challenging traditional notions of rational choice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalDeviant Behavior
Early online date25 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2023

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