For the performance enhancing athlete the importance of steroid education is paramount; without proper education use will often be highly irresponsible. In order for an individual to weigh cost to benefit ratios properly, to understand how best to supplement with anabolic steroids, how to cycle them, how to stack them and what precautionary measures must be taken and individual must take it upon themselves to self-educate on the matter at hand. While many performance enhancers understand this many fail to understand the importance of educating oneself on steroid law and this may indeed be the most important factor of all. In places such as the United States the laws as they pertain to anabolic androgenic steroids are extremely strict in nature, more so than most countries and as more than six-million adults in the U.S. supplement with anabolic steroids for the purpose of performance enhancement an understanding of these laws proves to be far beyond imperative.
As an understanding of the laws is of great importance there is much to learn; many of the links provided will answer specific questions and focus more directly on a singular issue revolving around anabolic steroid legality. For our purposes here we simply want to give you a general understanding of what youre dealing with, an understanding of the consequences of ignoring anabolic steroid laws. Make no mistake, failure to abide by steroid laws can result in disastrous consequences far reaching what many understand or believe. It is a very common misconception that law enforcement is only interested in dealers, the large suppliers of anabolic steroids and while many think and believe this way that does not make it true. The truth is very simple yet very devastating; mere simple possession can result in a horrific end.
Since their inception anabolic steroids were legal; for years you could obtain them and use them openly and without repercussion; use was so open it was often seen right on the gym floor. By the 1970s the IOC had taken a firm stance against steroid supplementation among their athletes banning the use of anabolic supplements by those competing and many other sporting authorities would slowly but surely begin to take similar action; however, the degree was often only slight. During this time anabolic steroids and use thereof still remained legal, athletes of all types from all walks of life supplemented with them every day and every year but in the late 1980s the tide began to shift. By the 1980s the use of anabolic steroids in sports was beginning to be made well-known and the media onslaught took hold and Congress began to take notice. In 1988 a portion of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 21 USC 333(e) came into play officially making the distribution of anabolic steroids a felony offense but use and possession remained legal. However, in 1990 the law was strongly reinforced with the original Steroid Control Act of 1990 officially criminalizing both distribution and possession without a viable medical purpose. By the 1990 legislation one now must possess a viable and legal prescription intended and derived on the basis of medical need.
While the 1980s was the true beginning of the war many point to two particular cases as being the final nail in the coffin; the 1988 summer Olympics and Ben Johnson and the death of NFL star Lyle Alzado. Both instances provided a face to the issue; for those who were members of the anti-steroid population Johnsons victory pointed to use being cheating and Alzados death gave them the fire they needed to stand firm on their belief that steroids were not only dangerous but they would kill you; death is a pretty big weapon. No one can argue, if steroids and the use thereof is illegal in a certain sport, such as those in the Olympic games, anyone who chooses to use them is in-fact cheating but what about the everyday guy, what about people who do not compete in competitive sports or who do so in venues where such use is not frowned upon? As for Alzados death, his own doctors firmly stated there was no evidence anabolic steroid use led to his death, however, Alzado firmly believed they did and Congress chose to hold on to his words rather than the facts. The original Steroid Control Act did not stop with these two examples; Congress debated on the issue for two solid years before its passage and whats interesting is the medical and law enforcement agencies they called on to testify on their behalf all claimed such a ban was without warrant. Nevertheless, Congress ignored the testimony of the DEA, FDA, AMA, NIDA and NIH and passed the legislation officially placing anabolic steroids on the controlled substances list as Schedule III drugs. It is important to note Alzado actually died after the legislation was passed but it was his death that was one of the key factors that helped solidify the legislation so to speak; he was now the face of horror as it pertained to steroids.
In 2004 in the wake of what is known as the Steroid Era of baseball congress would again take action passing the Steroid Control Act of 2004. Effectively made law in January of 2005, Congress added several more steroidal based hormones to the original legislation thereby strengthening the original act. Under federal law by-which derives from the now two conjoined pieces of legislation violators of the law are met with stiff penalties in the same light as many other drugs of a Schedule III nature such as LSD precursors and barbiturates. Under federal law it is illegal for any individual to possess anabolic steroids for any reason other than one of a viable medical purpose and it must be obtained in this light. Those who violate this law are subject to up to one year in jail as well as a minimum fine of $1,000 with a repeat offender or individual with any prior criminal drug record receiving a maximum of 2 years in prison and a minimum $2,500 fine. From there it continues to climb with three time offenders receiving 3 years in prison as a maximum sentence and a minimum $5,000 fine; were speaking of mere possession, not distribution. Those who are charged with distribution or possession with the intent to distribute or sell are faced with much stiffer penalties and interestingly enough it is very easy for a personal supply to turn into intent to distribute. A first time offender can face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine with both penalties increasing dramatically for repeat offenders.
Those who break the law are also subject to supervised release or what is commonly known as probation for periods that generally fall in the 2-4 year range. During this period travel can be greatly restricted, monitoring of all daily activities can be quite intrusive, regular drug screening is normally applied, as well as more fines and often a fair amount of community service. While in many ways supervision may not sound like a big deal once it is a reality one will normally find it to be extremely bothersome and irritating at best.
Being charged and arrested for violation of anabolic steroid laws can come in quite a few ways and often in ways completely unexpected. In recent years controlled deliveries have become far more common place with law enforcement agents pulling every trick in the book along with some new ones in the form of monitoring devices placed on the package(s). In most cases such an instance derives from ordering anabolic steroids over the internet and having them delivered via U.S. mail or shipped through a courier service such as UPS or FedEx. As internet based orders are the most common form of purchase customs agents and postal inspectors have increased their watch and package after package is being flagged. In many cases when such an instance occurs one will receive a seizure letter or notice and can simply ignore it and see the matter dropped; the package will be lost but so is the potential trouble. However, more and more controlled deliveries are being set up and a simple personal user of steroids is arrested. The idea is simple; while they may not have a lot of interest in you they do have a large interest on where youre getting it from and if they can squeeze you hard enough it may indeed lead them to a much larger fish. While the amounts in your ordered package may be for you and you alone it is also important to keep in mind if law enforcement considers it a large amount you could be charged with the intent to distribute; lets just say it wont take a true large amount for this to occur. Ask any competitive bodybuilder if ten 10ml vials and 1,000 5mg Dianabol tablets is a lot; that could easily be one simple 16 week cycles worth but according the law that is a massive pile of anabolic steroids.
While controlled deliveries are on the rise the most common means of being busted is face to face purchase or trading with a friend. Regardless of how close you are to your supposed friend understand if he is already in some sort of legal trouble there is a very, very good chance the fear of reaper has already been put in him and he will do all he can to pass it along to you. You may in-fact not be a dealer in any shape or form but if you sell one vile of testosterone to your friend and he is working with the police as far as the law is concerned you are now a full blown steroid king pin. Most are very uncomfortable believing in this truth, after all, it is derived from your friend but when it comes to being busted many often view it as every man for himself. True, such behavior is quite pathetic and often many realize that a true friend is few and far between. In many cases if the friend had been popped for say a first time offense and kept his mouth shut, while he may have had to pay a small penalty it would stop there but most will find this process to go and go from one friend to the next as they keep passing the trouble along.
There are other means of being busted as well; common traffic stops, border crossings and things of that nature can often lead to trouble; being stupid is more often than not the cause in these scenarios. You may get pulled over for a simple taillight problem or rolling through a stop sign, the officer pulls you over and theres a syringe lying in the floor and the ball begins to role. The truth is really very simple; there is no safe and assured way of purchasing anabolic steroids unless it is through your doctor and this will not be in the amounts of a true performance enhancing nature if your doctor is following the letter of the law.
Weve spoken of the Ben Johnson and Lyle Alzado situation and while both gave fire to the cause they are not the direct cause. Anabolic steroids laws are some of the only ones that exist that are based on emotion rather than logic; by far it is a lack of education and a lack of desiring to educate that has led the law to exist where it is today. Those who support anti-steroid legislation claim anabolic steroids will cause severe health related issues that will in-fact kill you; they will turn you into monsters of hate riddled with violent behavior and outbursts. They further claim it is a bad example for children that children are so susceptible that if anabolic steroids are allowed in any shape or form the children will be lost. Those are some pretty strong arguments and if they are true and hold within them the reality of the situation then they must be considered but what if theyre not? There has yet in nearly 100 years been a death directly linked to anabolic steroids; study after study has shown things such as Roid Rage do not exist and that in healthy adult males anabolic steroids can be used both safely and effectively without a damaging affect. As for children there is no question, these hormones can be very damaging to them but so can alcohol and tobacco yet we do not illegalize them and we never will. It is up to parents to install values in their children, to teach them, to guide them as they are the ones who are responsible adults.
In the end the basis of the steroid laws in the United States can be summed up in two words, blind hysteria and throughout history such behavior has only damaged society and never protected it. We have entered a realm where facts and logic are ignored and it is deemed proper because the situation does not warrant proper behavior. We have allowed ourselves as a society to be ruled on an emotional basis regarding anabolic steroids rather than being ruled by the truth that stands right in front of our face. You may hate the blue sky and wish it were purple with pink unicorns living in the clouds and you may stand on a pedestal claiming just that but the sky is blue, we can look at the sky and see it is blue and no unicorns exist. The same can be said of anabolic steroids yet the law has been construed in a manner that implies purple sky unicorns abound; muscular unicorns! Will the law ever change? Its hard to say but those who support the use of anabolic steroids in healthy adults are as a majority doing very little about it and that is perhaps more pathetic than the law itself. So many are so scared to speak up, to fight to change the law and choose to live in the shadows out of fear hoping the laws will one day magically change but unfortunately it does not work that way. With six-million Americans supplementing with anabolic steroids for the purpose of performance enhancing, with data after data showing such use can be done safely, if any true effort was put in by the majority the law would change overnight; maybe one day this will occur and hopefully steroid users will wake up to this truth.