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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

DEA Cracks Down on |’Gray Area’ Steroids

WASHINGTON (CN) - Three anabolic steroids marketed as "dietary supplements" to bodybuilders, Boldione, desoxymethyltestosterone, and 19-nor-4,9(10)-androstadienedione will be listed as schedule III controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The listing will require registration with the DEA to import these substances, and ban their use without a prescription, for one of the few legitimate medical uses of anabolic steroids.

Until now the three steroids have been in the so-called "gray area" of substances that meet the definition of anabolic steroids used by athletes to promote muscle mass that have not been actively policed by the DEA or sports authorities.

The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 classifies a drug or hormonal substance as an anabolic steroid if the substance is chemically related to testosterone, the substance is pharmacologically related to testosterone, the substance is not an estrogen, progestin, or a corticosteroid, and the substance is not dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Any substance that meets all four conditions is considered an anabolic steroid and must be listed as a schedule III controlled substance.

While use results in the rapid gain of muscle mass, anabolic steroids use by women and girls is known to induce permanent physical changes such as deepening of the voice, increased facial and body hair growth, and the lengthening of the clitoris.

In men, anabolic steroid use can cause shrinkage of the testicles, decreased sperm count, and sterility. Gynecomastia, a condition where men grow breasts, can develop with the use of those anabolic steroids with estrogenic actions.

In both men and women, anabolic steroid use can damage the liver and can cause high cholesterol levels, which may increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Also, anabolic steroids can be addictive and have been connected to increased aggression and hostility known as "[ste] roid rage."

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