The Defence Department has denied there has been an increase in steroid use among military personnel, despite a significant rise in positive tests for the drugs.
One Australian Defence Force member serving in Afghanistan has tested positive for steroids in the past year. He could be kicked out of the military.
Figures obtained by The West Australian show 25 ADF members tested positive for steroids in the six months between July 1 and December 31.
But 35 ADF personnel tested positive for the drugs in the 12 months to June 30.
One ADF member in Afghanistan tested positive for steroids in the second half of last year.
The Defence Department said testing for steroids was targeted, not random, and it did not mean that because there was a surge in detections last year, there was an increase in use.
"Twenty-five positive tests in a six-month period signifies improved 'targeting' practices for testing for steroid use, not an increase in steroid use in Defence," the department said, adding that the majority of personnel who returned positive tests for steroids were thrown out of the military.
In 2010, a number of special forces soldiers serving in Afghanistan tested positive to steroid use and were sent back to Australia to face disciplinary proceedings.
In May of that year, a commando serving in Afghanistan overdosed on an opiate and was evacuated for emergency treatment in Germany.
Steroids are deemed a prohibited substance by the ADF, with their use linked to increased aggression known as "roid rage".
"Usage is not tolerated due to its incompatibility with an effective and efficient defence force and its capacity to undermine safety, discipline, security and reputation," the department said.
The Government has recently increased the minimum number of personnel tested from 10 per cent of the ADF population to 25 per cent.Defence believes the use of illicit drugs among its personnel is far lower than in the general population.
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