FOR DECADES, ANABOLIC STEROIDS have been used by athletes and bodybuilders to build muscle, boost performance, and improve physique. They are also being used increasingly by young men who want to get ripped at any cost. Ask anyone in the fitness industry about the most asked questions they get daily; nearly everyone will say, “which steroid should I use?” or “where can I get steroids from?”. Anabolic steroids are controlled substances under Schedule 4 of the Drugs Misuse Regulations. They are available only with a prescription issued by an authorized doctor, dentist, or veterinarian. The law doesn’t stop there, though. Sentencing guidelines were introduced in NSW last year, which means anyone caught supplying anabolic steroids faces up to two years’ jail and a $2,200 fine. The guidelines apply to everyone, not just bodybuilders and athletes.
Athletes and bodybuilders can get prescribed steroids by telling their doctor they suffer from muscle-wasting diseases such as cancer and AIDS. This prescription will allow them to import steroids into Australia legally for personal use. Of course, there is nothing stopping anyone else from importing anabolic steroids with a valid prescription. Still, it’s illegal to sell or supply them or possess them with intent to sell or supply. Getting caught doing either of these two things could see you facing criminal charges. Be warned; injecting steroids is dangerous because sharing needles leaves you open to hepatitis B and C, HIV, and other blood-borne viruses. In addition, according to some experts, steroid abuse can have a chemical impact on the brain. Although many users report the ability to exert the same degree of control over their actions as before, others will experience mental problems such as paranoia, aggression, and psychosis.
“There is no simple solution to conquering steroid abuse,” says Dr. Shumyee (Siri) Khalsa-Kirpalani, Director of Mental Health Services for Drug Arm Australia. “People need to understand that it’s not just about steroids; they’re missing out on something larger.” Treatment involves counseling and behavioral therapy, which teach life skills that help people deal with anger management, impulsiveness, and self-esteem. Medication can also be prescribed if required.