Steroids are often considered as a taboo and it may seem as though buyers are rare. The truth is, however, that there are many people who purchase such supplements. Anabolic steroids are different than other drugs in the market. They have different purposes when compared to general pharmaceuticals and they also have a different process of purchase and supply.
Also, users of pharmaceuticals usually do not know the full effect of the drugs they take. Those who purchase anabolic steroids, do so for a very specific purpose. Therefore, they have a good knowledge of the effects and side effects. Before buying, it is important to know what exactly anabolic steroids are.
Meaning and Function of Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids, also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are supplementary drugs that have similar effects on the body as the hormone testosterone. They have a biochemical reaction within the body, that is the same as the one male sex hormone testosterone triggers. Anabolic steroids are used in the treatment of certain hormonal dysfunctions in men, like muscle loss after a serious disease or a late puberty.
People buy steroids for many other reasons as well. The most common reason probably is to help them build their bodies. When used properly and responsibly and are supplemented with a well maintained and sufficient diet, steroids can help increase body weight. Users develop a higher muscular strength than they would with exercise and diet alone.
Anabolic steroids were made in the 1930s for the first time. They are now used as a therapy to treat individuals who suffer from chronic wasting, where the body is not able to retain the nutrients supplied by a diet. AAS help induce puberty in men who suffer from a delayed puberty. They are also used for creating an increased appetite in individuals; increasing lean mass is facilitated by anabolic steroids. While there are many positives to supplementing with steroids, excessive use or abuse of such substances could lead to some health issues as well. They are only meant for very informed consumers who follow the recommendations for the dosages.
There are number of fields in which people buy steroids for performance enhancement in racing, sports and body building. If you are considering using anabolic steroids for enhancing performance, it is important to get into the legality of it. In professional sports, most performance drugs are prohibited since they are considered to give users an unfair advantage over non-users. Nevertheless, many of these drugs are legal for private use, but some countries disallow their usage and control manufacturing and market. In most of these countries there is a black market where many people can purchase their drugs.
Black Market Steroids
In certain countries, some of the anabolic drugs that people wish for are not considered legal. To get them you must purchase them from a black market, that sell steroids illegally to buyers. It may not seem important to you, but knowing about the process of sellers obtaining drugs, can help you understand the consequences you could face. When buying, you are technically a part of the process, and you face a legal risk. There are many anabolic steroid suppliers and the market is more in favour of the buyer. However, if you are buying steroids for the first time, there is a high chance that you will get ripped off by your dealer. You could get false and ineffective products, you could get overcharged or even undercharged and purchase faulty or fake steroids. It can also happen that the drugs from black markets were stolen from shipments of products from large pharmaceutical companies. They would have a high price since these companies ensure that their drugs are safe and sterile. The correct dosage and method of consumption is written on the packaging.
You may also find some anabolic drugs on the black market that have been made in underground labs. They are generally the same products as those from pharmaceutical companies, but there is no guarantee regarding the sterility and dosage of the products. Take it only if you are absolutely sure of the steroid side effects.
Then you also have the option of consuming anabolic steroids that were meant for animals. These are slightly stronger and less expensive, but it is better to stick to the dosage and quality that has been tested by large companies.
Steroids are organic compounds. They consist of a group of four cycloalkane rings attached one to another. Some steroids that are present in the human body are cholesterol, testosterone, estradiol, and dexamethasone. Twenty carbon atoms are fused together, essentially form the four-ring steroid structure. Three are cyclohexane rings and one is a cyclopentane ring.
One classification of the anabolic steroids is based on the structures that they have. In a very basic classification, you may split them into three main types:
- pharmaceutical grade (known as human grade),
- underground lab (UGL) grade, and
- veterinary grade.
You may also classify steroids either based on taxonomy (function) or on structure. The taxonomical classification is quite comprehensive. Some of the major categories in general include:
Animal: There are two major sections, insect and vertebrate. Let’s take Ecdysterone for example. It is an insect derived steroid which controls moulting. Vertebrate steroids generally include hormones. Sex hormones in vertebrate animals (like in human beings) are responsible for growth, metabolism and puberty. Anabolic steroids come under animal steroids. These are a class of steroids that react with the androgen receptors. This reaction causes the synthesis of the muscles and bones in the body.
- Plant: There are three basic types of plant steroids: Phytosterols, brassinosteroids and steroidal alkaloids.
- Fungus: Ergosterols are the most commonly known among fungal steroids.
The structural classification has five basic types: cholestanes, cholanes, pregnanes, androstanes and estranes. Examples in this order are cholesterol, cholic acid, progesterone, testosterone and estradiol.
Sources and Suppliers of Steroids
If you want to buy steroids, it is actually very common to find suppliers of anabolic drugs. There are three different types of suppliers in the black market.
First you have people who you know personally, like gym trainers. Those sources are very common to find since they generally have common goals regarding working out and taking part in competitive sports. Another reason why you would want to purchase anabolic steroids from known source is the trust factor. There is a far lesser chance of getting ripped off by someone you know. On the other hand, there is a concern: these sources may request you to try some new steroids for different reasons. This change in your normal supplement may cause a reaction within your body if you are already accustomed to one type of anabolic steroid.
The more commonly found suppliers are those that can be contacted through the Internet. This is a huge market space that has been exploited by many buyers and sellers. Some of the suppliers might limit you by requiring you to purchase a minimum amount of product during each transaction. They do this so that they lessen their chances of getting into any legal hassle. Due to drastically reduced number of transactions, wholesale supply is less risky. For those who feel that the dosage supplied suits their needs can buy steroids from here. If the amount is overwhelming, or if there are too many restrictions, buyers can search for other options that are available on the Internet.
The third kind of seller is a person who deals at an individual level. They don’t require a minimum purchase amount. People who require steroids, a bottle at a time, can purchase their dosage amounts. The Internet allows for a mutual meeting point where prices are fixed and fair, because of the basic principles of demand and supply. If a website has unreasonable prices, potential buyers will search for other options. Internet also allows the sale of a variety of products that makes it possible for you to get any specific steroid that is suitable for you.
Quality and Sterility of the Steroids
Quality of the steroids you purchase is extremely important. If used wrongly, there are quite a few harmful effects of certain anabolic drugs. These effects can be avoided if you ensure that the purchased product is fully sterilized and of pharmacy quality. Don’t put yourselves in danger just for the sake of purchasing anabolic steroids at bargain rates. The issues usually arise from products that are manufactured in underground labs.
Underground lab grade products are generally best to be avoided because there is no accountability. A product from a large pharmaceutical company comes with a guarantee because it has been tried and tested in the efficient laboratory systems that these companies have access to. Such product is generally of good quality and sterility.
Anabolic drugs that are domestically created should be avoided because of the substitution of chemical substances and the changes in the dosage. Prednisone, betamethasone, benzyl chloride, furfural, arsenic, tin and lead are among the contaminants that are found in some of the underground labs created anabolic steroids. Pharmaceutical grade products on the other hand have a correct dosage and a greater guarantee of sterility.
Getting pharmaceutical grade products in the black market is not very common. There are many procedures for obtaining such products, and even if a supplier is able to obtain anabolic steroids of such quality, it is very unlikely that this supply will be constant.
Underground labs, although there is a risk of low-quality anabolic steroids, can also create extremely high-quality steroids. The best way would be to be fully informed about a substance that you may use for building your body or performance enhancement.
Manufacturing of Anabolic Steroids
Manufacturing of anabolic steroids is available to everyone and can be done in almost any environment. What is important is the way in which raw materials are mass produced in underground labs. If they are manufactured in underground labs, then the accessibility to steroids is far higher than before.
If people buy the raw materials needed for the manufacture of these anabolic drugs, then they may develop a product that is not contaminated and has the correct dosage. If they are very qualified in this field then it is even possible to create a substance that is more effective and has a lesser chance of side effects. The crude version of the steroid is the anabolic drug in the form of a powder that needs to be processed to create the oil-based and injectable product.
This product can also be developed to get tablets that have the same effect as the injectable product. The powdered form or legal steroid form is obtained from countries without regulations regarding the manufacture of steroids. It is usually Asian countries, China is most common, from where individual manufacturers obtain their raw materials. To a certain extent, Africa too is a source of the raw materials. The product from China is usually considered one of the best in terms of the quality of the steroid, because large and legitimate manufacturing companies provide a source for these raw materials. They are approved by the law and have a right to produce within the country. The black market comes into play regarding smuggling it across to other countries where there are legal constraints, when it comes to the usage and manufacturing of anabolic steroids.
The chemical synthesis for products that is required to qualify as human grade anabolic drugs is almost the same as the way by which chemical engineers synthesize other chemicals in their labs. Because the process is simple, many underground labs are connected to larger labs that are legitimized because of their production of fertilizers for example.
These labs get into such businesses because they have the knowledge and the equipment required for the process. Lab workers in ethical labs are some of the suppliers in the underground market of anabolic steroids. Since they are qualified in the process, there is a higher chance that the drugs they produce are high-quality.
The downside of this process is however that during the transfer of the raw material, they might come in contact with other substances of these labs, for example, with metals. This is the reason traces of lead and tin can be present in some of the final products that are manufactured as underground lab grade.
Fake/ Counterfeit Steroids in the Black Market
Unfortunately, a black market for anabolic drugs allows a ground where nobody can be held accountable. There may be people who will supply fake or counterfeit steroids to make quick money without investing in anything or even taking the risk of getting caught for supplying an illegal substance. The increase in these false drugs is a major concern for those who want to buy steroids from these sources.
These suppliers commonly supply people who are purchasing anabolic steroids for the first time. Therefore, certain forums and meeting places are necessary so that there can be an exchange of information. Even though the usage and production of anabolic steroids is not allowed by law, these forums facilitate an informal monitoring of the supply of false products.
False drugs are not only somewhat ineffective, they may also have harmful effects, including the formation of abscesses within the muscular system. The WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) did a research and found out that about half of the products that are sold in underground markets were not actually AAS, but counterfeit substances. The percentage of counterfeit tablets was less, but they do exist as well.
The best way is to compare black market substances with pharmaceutically produced anabolic steroids. This way you may identify fake steroids by yourself. The problem is that most athletes and other users never had the opportunity to get a hold of the original product. In that case you can check the authenticity of a drug by inspecting the packaging, but it is not a fool proof method.
Most suppliers of false products aim to make large profits in short time. Therefore, many do not take the effort to duplicate the packaging. If a packaging would be completely different it would be very unprofessional of course, so it will in fact look alike with minor differences, like the expiration dates and batch numbers.
Another check mechanism would be verifying the seal. It is usually difficult to peel off the label from the bottle, so if it comes off easily, that would be a sign that the product is of low quality. Pay attention to the details. Often, the labels of legally produced anabolic steroids have rounded corners.
Legitimacy and Penalty of Use and Manufacture of Steroids
If you wish to buy steroids, you should be informed about the different things that could affect you if you consume such drugs. The usage of anabolic steroids is illegal in the USA. If you have a prescription, then you are out of danger, as long as you follow your prescription. If you don’t have a prescription, then there are legal issues regarding the possession of anabolic steroids.
Ignorance of the law does not redeem you in the eyes of the law. You will get a sentence equally severe whether you are being ignorant of the law, or you know it. In the USA, possession without a prescription is illegal in every state since 1990. Anabolic steroids are considered to be a part of the schedule III drugs that include barbiturates, tranquilizers, LSD and narcotics. The punishment depends on how much of the substance is found in the possession. One pill, capsule, tablet or half a gram of liquid is considered as one unit of the substance.
Different Anabolic Steroids in the Market
There are different variations of AAS that are available in the market. Each anabolic steroid is used for a somehow different function. If you are still unaware of the specific purposes of the different steroids in the market, we give you a list that has some steroids along with their functions. It covers all the major steroids that are commonly used.
Anadrol is a performance enhancing steroid that helps you to improve stamina. It is used by athletes and sportsmen so that they can train harder and longer.
Anavar is commonly used by boxers, because this steroid makes the user stronger but maintains his weight. The user has therefore an added advantage of strength when compared to non-users in the same weight category.
Clenbuterol is sometimes prescribed to asthma patients and it is a steroid that is used to clear congestion in the body.
Cytomel is an anabolic steroid that is most commonly used by actors and models, because it has the effect of increasing the metabolism rate of the body. The user loses weight rapidly.
Clomid helps you develop muscles and it has the effect of making you more aggressive.
Deca Durabolin causes you to lose excessive fat and it increases strength of lean muscles.
Dianabol generally gives you fast results for body building. It is commonly used because it hardly requires any supplementary diet to go with it.
Equipoise is an anabolic steroid, responsible for lean muscle development in the body.
Halotestin has a similar effect and it also helps you lose weight and become more aggressive. Individuals take aggressors steroids because aggression helps performance in competitive sports.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH), is responsible for the gradual process of increased muscle size.
Insulin is a steroid that most people know about due to its use in the diabetes treatment. It regulates the metabolism of glucose in the body.
Lasix removes water from your muscles. Water constricts the muscles and prevents the retention of the shape.
Methyltestosterone brings down testosterone levels in your body. When the body starts to supply testosterone again, the effects of the drug are shown in aggression and increased stamina and body strength.
Nolvadex helps you gain muscle without gynecomastia affecting the individual.
Omnadren has the same function as other testosterone steroids and is preferred over most of the other steroids.
Primobolan helps you reduce gynecomastia (this effect is specific to male users).
Sustanon is a steroid that drains the fat form the muscles in your body.
Trenbolone has a similar effect.
Winstrol also help you lose weight rather than gain weight.