The legality of steroids is a controversial topic all over the world. In some places, such as in the United States, using or possessing any anabolic steroid without a prescription is illegal.
In other countries like Mexico, you can find anabolic steroids in pharmacies and drug stores and you can buy them without prescriptions. Below is a look at which steroids are legal around the world.
Why are there Legal Steroids in Some Countries?
There are different reasons why some countries legalize steroids and others do not. For the most part, those responsible for governing countries with legal steroids simply believe that it is not the government’s position to tell people which substances they can and cannot use.
In fact, in many countries, some speculate that the issue of steroid legality stemmed from the banning of steroids by the Olympic games and most major sports leagues. Though you can find legal steroids in many countries worldwide, athletes from those countries participating in events like the Olympics and the World Cup are still screened, just like everyone else, and they can be banned from participating if they have steroids in their systems.
Steroids were banned from sports in the 1970s, but not because they were deemed “dangerous”. They simply made things unfair for athletes who could not obtain them or simply could not use them.
However, as the media reported the bans, it created a social stigma that effectively lumped anabolic steroids in with drugs like cocaine and heroin.
When Ronald Reagan was president of the US in the 1980s, one of his major campaign promises was to crack down on drugs, and anabolic steroids were certainly no exception. To this day, many people believe steroids are illegal due to biased opinions created by the media in the 1970s.
The United States
The United States has very strict laws when it comes to the sale, possession, purchase, and use of anabolic steroids. According to the FDA, all anabolic steroids are Schedule III controlled substances. This is the same category as drugs like ketamine, hydrocodone, and morphine in certain concentrations.
Only a very few anabolic steroids are legal even with a prescription, and physicians may only prescribe them to treat “testosterone deficiency, delayed puberty, low red blood cell count, breast cancer, and tissue wasting resulting from AIDS” according to the DEA’s info sheet on steroids.
Canada’s laws are a bit different from those in the United States. In Canada, it is illegal to sell anabolic steroids, and it is illegal to buy them, but it is legal to possess them. Calling steroids “legal” here is a bit of a stretch, and many people refer to it as “decriminalized”. Simply put, if you possess only enough steroids in Canada for personal use, you are clear.
On the other hand, if you have more than what you need for personal use, and if authorities believe that you have the intention to sell them, then you could face up to 18 months in jail. However, obtaining them can be an issue since it is a crime if you are caught buying them.
In Mexico, you can buy veterinary grade anabolic steroids from a veterinarian without a prescription. You can also buy some human grade steroids, namely Deca Durabolin and Sustanon, without a prescription. Other steroids, such as Primobolan Depot, do require a prescription from a physician. HCG is not available from pharmacies in Mexico, but you can find it in many veterinary offices there. Mexico has very lax laws when it comes to steroids, and many from the US go there to complete their cycles. However, be aware that smuggling steroids across the US border has severe consequences.
Other Countries and Steroid Laws
Possession, use, sale, and purchase of anabolic steroids without a prescription is a crime in most countries around the world, particularly in developed countries with their own inherent controlled substances lists. Here are some of the laws associated with many of the most populated countries around the world:
- Australia – Only legal with a prescription, which is difficult to obtain.
- Bahamas – Legal with or without a prescription.
- Belgium – Only legal with a prescription.
- Columbia – Legal with or without a prescription.
- Costa Rica – Legal with or without a prescription.
- Dominican Republic – No prescription necessary.
- Egypt – No prescription necessary.
- France – Only legal with a prescription.
- Germany – Only legal in therapeutic settings.
- Greece – Legal with or without a prescription (only in some areas)
- Hong Kong – Legal with or without a prescription
- India – Legal with or without a prescription.
- Japan – Only legal with a prescription.
- Korea – Legal with or without a prescription.
- Norway – Illegal.
- Poland – Legal with a prescription.
- Puerto Rico – Legal with or without a prescription.
- South Africa – Only legal with a prescription.
- Sweden –Illegal.
- Switzerland – Only legal with a prescription.
- Thailand – Legal with or without a prescription.
Understanding the Word “Decriminalized”
There are some countries, such as Canada, in which steroids have been decriminalized. This brings question to their legal status, and it makes people wonder whether they can possess steroids in those countries without being prosecuted.
Simply put, in many of these countries, it is not legal to buy and sell steroids outside of medical use. However, if you are caught with steroids, you are not prosecuted if you only have enough for your own personal use.
Another country to consider is Portugal. In this country, all drugs are decriminalized, but that doesn’t make them legal. In fact, possession of steroids in Portugal is not legal, but it’s no longer a criminal act – it’s an administrative one, much like a parking ticket would be.
People who are caught with less than a 10-day supply of any drug are simply issued a fine. This is yet another definition of the term “decriminalization”. When asking which steroids are legal in countries like this, it’s important to remember that they are not technically “legal” – they simply don’t come with criminal penalties.
Can You Take Advantage of Legal Steroids in Other Countries?
Another common question is whether or not it is legal for someone in the US or UK to travel to another country to buy their steroids. The answer to this question is yes, but it is important to remember that individuals must remain in those countries with those steroids or face felony charges for drug smuggling.
For example, people in the United States who want to use steroids legally can (and often do) travel to places like Mexico or Puerto Rico where they can obtain them easily and use them without fear of prosecution. Then, at the end of their cycles, they return home and there is no fear.
On the other hand, if you use steroids in another country and you are asked to submit to a steroid screen, it does not matter where you got or used the steroids. Steroid screens aren’t conducted due to legal fears – they are conducted to keep sports and competitions fair for everyone. For this reason, if you may be asked to submit to a screen, you should not use anabolic steroids in any country.
Many countries around the world have very different views when it comes to the sale and possession of anabolic steroids, and many, like the US, ban them due to the potential for abuse. Although there is no denying that such potential exists, bodybuilders often argue that people abuse alcohol, yet there is no ban. Perhaps someday the US will once again decriminalize the use and possession of anabolic steroids, but no one can be sure.