Are Steroids Illegal in Texas? (From a Lawyer)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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I've been in the fitness world for over ten years, and I've seen many people use steroids to bulk up and speed up their weight loss.

But with most steroids illegal in many US states under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act, I talked to a lawyer friend to find out if they're illegal here in Texas and, if so, why.

Here's what I found out.

Quick Summary

  • Anabolic steroids are primarily used by fitness enthusiasts to enhance muscle growth and performance, even though they are illegal in Texas under the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
  • Possession of anabolic steroids without a prescription in Texas can lead to severe legal consequences, including jail time and substantial fines, depending on the quantity possessed.
  • Research published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal reveals that steroid users frequently experience serious mental health issues, including psychosis and manic episodes.
  • In my personal opinion, while steroids offer quick results, the health risks and legal consequences far outweigh the benefits, making natural alternatives a safer and more sustainable option.

Are Steroids Illegal in Texas?

Yes, anabolic steroids are illegal in Texas, according to the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

Anyone found in simple possession for personal use risks being jailed or punished [1].

Anabolic steroids, synthetic versions of testosterone, enhance muscle growth and "bulk up" in response to exercise, as shown in a study from the Life Science journal [2].

For these reasons, anabolic steroids are used by fitness and weight-loss enthusiasts to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance.

However, federal laws prohibit any form of anabolic steroid.

Law and Penalties for Illegal Steroids in Texas

A lawyer looking at paperwork on a table

Suppose you're caught knowingly in possession of these steroids without a prescription, even in small amounts of less than 28 grams.

In that case, says the lawyer, you'll be charged with a third-degree felony under the drug enforcement administration.

As per the steroid law notice, the first possession of these steroids without a prescription is a criminal offense punishable by a potential $1,000 fine and a year in jail at the federal level.

For a first conviction, the maximum jail term for trafficking schedule III anabolic steroids without a valid medical purpose is up to 5 years and a $250,000 fine, both under state and federal laws.

Criminal justice penalties and jail sentences are doubled for selling or distributing steroid-controlled substances for a second time.

A conviction for steroid possession in Texas can have lasting repercussions on one's career and social standing, potentially hindering future employment opportunities and damaging one's personal reputation.

Penalty Scale

As we'll see below, the Texas Department's charges for having anabolic steroids depend on the substance quantity [3].

  • Less than 10 units: Misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both for a first offense. And up to 1 year in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both, for a second offense.
  • 10 to 100 units: Misdemeanor punishable by a first-time sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $2,000. And a subsequent penalty of up to two years in prison and/or a fine of $3,000.
  • More than 100 units: Crime punishable by up to five years in jail, $5,000 in fines, or both for a first offense. And up to ten years in prison, $10,000 in fines, or both, for a second or subsequent violation.

Anabolic steroids are legally restricted only to medical use in Texas, emphasizing the importance of a prescription for any legitimate use to ensure compliance with state laws.

Yet, if you're on the hunt for legal, FDA-approved alternatives, here's our top pick:

4 Reasons Why Steroids Are Illegal in Texas

Close up shot of a lawyer pointing at paperwork

Here are potential reasons why steroids are illegal under Texas criminal justice.

Steroids Cause Severe Health Effects

Anabolic steroid abuse can result in severe, perhaps lifelong, health issues such as renal failure and liver cancer [4]. In my fighting career, I've seen peers suffer from high blood pressure and altered blood cholesterol due to regular steroid use.

Based on research published in the Cureus journal, evidence suggests that even in young people, anabolic steroids can cause an enlarged heart, raising the risk of stroke and heart attack [5].

"Long-term use of synthetic steroids can impair testosterone production in the testicles"

- Jon Rasmussen, Scientist & Doctor

Steroids Are Linked to Organized Crime

Drug trafficking is a significant problem in the US.

The extensive list of prohibited substances now being offered on the Texas black market has been expanded with the addition of steroids [6].

My lawyer friend is convinced that the Texas Department illegalized steroids to curb the rate of drug trafficking and other related crimes.

Steroids Induce Serious Mental Health Problems

A person in workout clothes being stressed

We found that psychosis and manic episodes are frequent among steroid users, a state supported by the research published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal [7].

This is detrimental to the user as well as their close relatives.

Unstable mental health can wreck lives, families, and marriages.

Anabolic steroid abuse has even been proven lethal for some users.

Increased Blood-Borne Disease Risk

It's never a good idea to use needles for recreational purposes.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, you run the risk of getting HIV and other blood-borne illnesses like hepatitis B and C [8].

Avoid sticking needles in your arm unless you have a legitimate medical need and a prescription.

4 Steroid Alternatives

A fit person searching something on his phone in a gym

Here are legal anabolic steroid alternatives if you want to bulk up without severe side effects.

Creatine

Approved by the FDA for short-term use in adults over 18 to boost sports performance [9].

A 5–7-day creatine regimen may ramp up your athletic performance, strength, and pump activity. I often suggest it to my clients for these benefits.

Ginseng

Research in the Journal of Ginseng Research highlights ginseng's ability to prevent muscle loss in conditions like diabetes or aging [10].

It turns out that black ginseng extract can kickstart genes linked to muscle growth and differentiation, leading to beefier muscle cells and better bodybuilding results.

Safed Musli

This traditional Indian herb, known for tackling male sexual issues, also boosts testosterone levels, according to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology [11].

While it works similarly to steroids in this regard, more digging is needed to confirm its muscle growth, repair, and endurance benefits.

A heads-up: some research, like one in the Nutrition and Cancer journal, flags a potential risk of hepatotoxicity [12].

Fenugreek

Recent findings from the Journal of Sports and Health Science show that fenugreek extract can enhance endurance and fat utilization during workouts, even aiding in weight loss [13].

In my research, I found that the compounds in fenugreek extract may raise testosterone levels naturally by preventing the body from turning the human growth hormones into other sex hormones.

FAQs

Are Steroids Legal in The USA?

No, steroids are not legal in the USA under the Steroid Law Notice. But any anabolic steroids found prescribed by only a medical doctor for a valid medical purpose are legal under the public service state law.

Why is Steroid Use Illegal in Sports?

Steroid use is illegal in sports because using steroids to increase athletic performance is considered cheating and can result in fines or a ban. Furthermore, using performance-enhancing drugs may have adverse long-term effects on your health.

What Are the Safest Steroids?

The safest steroids are the ones that are legal and FDA-approved. Most of these can be acquired with a proper prescription from only a medical doctor.


References:

  1. https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.481.htm
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283849703_Effect_of_anabolic_steroids_on_the_increase_of_muscle_mass_and_there_relationship_with_the_risks_health_case_leisure_algerian_sport_bodybuilding
  3. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/brochures/steroids/lawenforcement/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548931/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444848/
  6. https://www.wada-ama.org/en/prohibited-list
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646607/
  8. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/hiv
  9. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/ExerciseAndAthleticPerformance-HealthProfessional/
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S122684531730235X
  11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874113006351
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4628703/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6191980/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
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Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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