Steroids Overview

  • Under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990, steroids are a Schedule 3 controlled substance, which makes possession and sales of steroids illegal without a prescription. Federal and state penalties include fines and imprisonment.

Anabolic Steroids Control Acts of 1990, 2004:

  • Possession or sales of steroids is illegal under Title 21 of the United States Code
  • The U.S. Code regulates food and drugs, and in this case, steroids
  • Aptly named the “Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990, the legislation criminalizes steroids – even personal possession
  • As a category 3 drug:

The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules 1 and 2.

The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.

 Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence

Are Steroids Illegal in All 50 States?

  • Yes, in 1990 when the Omnibus Crime Control Bill was signed into law, steroids were made illegal and placed in the same category as:
  • Ketamine (animal tranquilizers)
  • LSD and other hallucinogens
  • Barbiturates
  • Other drugs in the same category

Illegal to Purchase Anabolic Steroids Via Internet w/o Prescription:

  • According to the Office of Diversion Control, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, federal law prohibits buying controlled substances  - including anabolic steroids – without a valid prescription
  • There must be an authentic doctor-patient relationship
  • In most states this requires a physical examination
  • Prescriptions written by “cyber doctors” that rely on online questions are not legitimate under this law

It is a felony to purchase drugs from non-approved foreign sources

Prosecution and Penalties

Prosecution in State and/or Federal Court for Possession of Steroids:

  • An offender can be prosecuted in either state or federal court for possession of steroids
  • If the steroids are transported via U.S. mail, prosecution would take place in federal court
  • If steroids are purchased and transported across state lines, state or federal prosecution is possible
  • If steroids are found on one’s person at an airport, federal and/or state prosecution would be possible

Penalties for Steroid Possession:

  • Simple possession of a schedule 3 drug:
  • First offense, federal:
  • Prison: 1 year, maximum
  • Fines: $1,000 minimum
  • Second offense:
  • Prison: 2 years, maximum
  • Fines: $2,500 minimum
  • Third offense:
  • Prison: 3 years maximum
  • Fines: $5,000 minimum

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Michael S. Berg
Attorney At Law