Paranoid, competitive and fuelled by guns, alcohol and steroids. That is how one senior contractor in Baghdad describes the private security industry operating in the city's Green Zone...Ted Rall's September 12 cartoon emphasizes this point, but I've rarely seen the alleged drug problem mentioned in the mainstream reporting about Iraq.
At night they return to the Green Zone, where the only releases are working out in the gym – with many also using steroids
The LA Times did report a major drug bust in August 2005:
Italian police seized 215,000 doses of prohibited substances as they broke up a ring that supplied steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to customers around the world, including American soldiers in Iraq, a police official said Monday.Both this story and the Rall cartoon implicate U.S. troops, not merely private contractors.
The U.S. military there had no immediate comment, but steroid abuse has long been discussed as an issue in Iraq, where American troops and contractors work out in gyms on military bases and even in the mirrored halls of one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.
The American Council for Drug Educationdr suggests that steroid abuse causes severe behavioral problems:
Some users show bad judgment because the drugs make them feel invincible. Other users suffer from uncontrolled aggression and violent behavior called “Roid Rage”, severe mood swings, manic episodes and depression. They often suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability and can have delusions.Oh, and of course, they are not good for your health either.
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