Call for Papers | “IPEDs and polydrug use” | Special issue of Performance Enhancement & Health. Call ends December 1, 2020

Guest editors
      • April Henning. University of Stirling, UK
      • Jesper Andreasson. Linnaeus University, Sweden

Polydrug use related to image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) – using multiple IPEDs or IPEDs in combination with other substances – has been reported in both qualitative and quantitative research on IPED use. People who use IPEDs face similar risks as other groups who use or inject recreational drugs, including unclear quality, dose, and contaminated supplies. Many rely on online resources for information on dosage and managing side effects, the quality of which can vary and may lead to additional substance use. While current evidence indicates IPED use is increasing among the general population in multiple countries and that the demographics of IPED use are changing, a lack of focused research likely underestimates its prevalence and social impact. Despite this, IPED use in several countries is acknowledged as a public health issue requiring better health services and outreach. IPED use sits in the divide between sports and fitness doping research and research focused on more traditional (i.e. recreational; addictive) substance use. IPEDs and their use has been largely understudied by these groups of researchers, leading to a gap in our understanding of this population of users, especially as it relates to polydrug use.

This special issue will focus on issues related to IPEDs and polydrug use in sport, bodybuilding, fitness, or other populations. We invite submissions related to the following (non-exhaustive) topics:

      • Engagement and knowledge transmission around IPEDs/polydrug use;
      • Emerging user groups and/or new demographics of use;
      • Use careers and pathways leading to and from polydrug use;
      • Overlaps between IPED and other substance markets;
      • Risk behaviors related to IPED/polydrug;
      • Policy (sport and non-sport) implications for and of polydrug use;
      • Service provision or other support for IPED/polydrug users;
      • Motivations and reasons for use in various contexts;
      • Quantitative or qualitative prevalence findings.

Submissions of any of the above topics and related issues are welcome. Please feel free to contact April Henning ( and Jesper Andreasson ( in advance for advice on potential suitability of any proposed manuscript.

For general guidelines on the appropriate preparation of manuscripts please visit the journal’s website. Please submit your paper to Performance Enhancement & Health via, indicating that it is intended for this special issue.

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