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Where Are Steroids Legal? (Everything You Need To Know)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

In my job as a fitness coach, I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in gyms worldwide, and what all of them have in common, among other things, are obvious users of illegal anabolic steroids.

I frequently address this issue with my clients, and recently they asked me if there are any countries where anabolic steroids are legal.

This question piqued my curiosity, so I set out to do a bit of research, and I’ve come across some interesting facts. Here’s what I’ve found.

Quick Summary

  • Anabolic steroids are legal to possess for personal use in the United Kingdom.
  • In the last four decades, there has been increasing use of anabolic steroids for aesthetic or “beauty” purposes.
  • Anabolic steroids are schedule III controlled substances under the U.S. Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990.
Different pills with clipboard document

The United Kingdom is an example of a country where anabolic steroids are legal, although the legal status of anabolic steroids varies from country to country.

In the United Kingdom, anabolic steroids are categorized as Class C drugs and are available by prescription.

It is legal to have anabolic steroids for personal use and even import or export steroids if it is on your person, meaning no freight or courier.

It is, however, illegal to supply or sell anabolic steroids in the United Kingdom, and that comes with an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to 14 years [1].

Another country where you can buy anabolic steroids “legally” is Mexico. While there may be prescription laws, they seem to be routinely ignored [2].

My research found that there were not many places worldwide where anabolic steroids can be legally purchased because many other countries have adopted some form of our Anabolic Steroids Control Act.

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Drug Trafficking

Even after the passing of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 and the anabolic steroid legislation in 1990, overseas pharmacies are readily selling anabolic steroids and shipping them directly to users’ doors.

An investigation in 2005 showed how easily buying anabolic steroid drugs and human growth hormone could be from other countries. I would hazard a guess that buying steroids online 17 years later is even easier [3].

It is important to remember that even in countries where anabolic steroids are completely legal, they are banned substances under World Anti-Doping Agency rules. Testing positive for anabolic and androgenic steroids will result in a ban from competition and other penalties.

“The sites are readily accessible to users in this country but are based in countries where steroids are unregulated. Any steroids we've ever seized have been manufactured in foreign countries."

- Bridget G. Brennan, Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City

Why Do People Take Them?

Taking a pill close up image

People take anabolic steroids as performance-enhancing drugs for weight training to significantly increase lean muscle mass.

Athletes that increase muscle mass usually increase strength, giving them a significant advantage in certain sports.

For example, Dianabol is an anabolic steroid favored by athletes and bodybuilders for its extreme muscle gain as part of a bulking cycle.

However, the overwhelming majority of steroid users are non-athlete male weightlifters in their 20s and 30s. They tend to suffer from poor self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, concerns about weight, and poor attitudes and knowledge related to health [4].

Unlike athletes, the goal among these users may be to improve their appearance and, in turn, increase confidence.

Steroid use is definitely not confined to athletes looking to enhance performance but has increased appeal over the last four decades for aesthetic reasons.

One study suggested that 3.3% of the world’s population have used anabolic steroids at least once, the majority being male [5].

Females, on the other hand, tend to be less likely to misuse anabolic steroids because of the strong male characteristics resulting from use like voice deepening, increased body and facial hair, and decreased breast size [6].

Showing different alternative pills

Yes, there are legal alternatives to anabolic steroids, usually called legal steroids, and their results can resemble those of many known anabolics.

These natural steroids eliminate the need to worry about the legal status, breaking laws, or obtaining a valid prescription as they are readily available over the counter in most countries.

Though these legal steroids may work a bit slower to build muscle, decrease body fat, increase energy and stamina, and enhance athletic performance, the major upside is the absence of physical, mental, and legal risk.

Many of these natural supplements have testosterone-boosting ingredients that occur naturally in foods and nature.

These vitamins, minerals, and herbs work with your own body’s ability to produce testosterone and at no cost to your health.

These ingredients include Vitamin D, fenugreek, Zinc, D-Aspartic Acid, Magnesium, Ashwagandha root, Oyster Extract, and Asian red Panax ginseng.

FAQs

Is Tren legal in the United States?

Tren (trenbolone) is not legal for human use in the United States. It is one of the most potent anabolic steroids and is categorized as a Class III drug, meaning it is a controlled substance.

Trenbolone acetate sold under Finajet and Finaplix is used in veterinary medicine to promote muscle growth in cattle.

Is Dianabol legal in the United States?

Dianabol or DBOL is not legal in the United States and, like other anabolic-androgenic steroids, is a Class III controlled substance.

What Is the Closest Thing to Steroids That’s Legal?

The closest thing to steroids that is legal are natural steroids designed to increase muscle mass and athletic performance.

These supplements are considered effective, safer alternatives to anabolic steroids and are readily available without a prescription or illicit purchase.

Even if I were living in a country where I could buy steroids legally, I would not, and I will never advise my clients to use them because the risks are simply too high.

I will instead recommend that you look into some legal steroid alternatives, which, combined with healthy eating habits and a strict workout routine, should help you lose weight, build muscle and improve body composition.

I have tested these supplements myself along with some clients, and we’ve seen some great results without exposing our bodies to the dangers of anabolic steroids.


References:

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anabolic-steroid-misuse/
  2. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1988-10-30-me-1039-story.html
  3. https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-06-243r.pdf
  4. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds/who-uses-anabolic-steroids
  5. https://theconversation.com/anabolic-steroids-a-serious-global-health-problem-amid-boom-in-cosmetic-use-24238
  6. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anabolic-steroid-misuse/
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