Written evidence submitted by Nayan Shah (MISS0002)
Legalise anabolic steroids but destroy anabolic steroids (at Port of Entry) that are shipped into UK. Anabolic steroids should be obtained via ‘private rate’ prescription from the GP by only individuals who are over 35 &/or due to ‘physical’ health issues cannot build muscles naturally. Prescribed anabolic steroids should only be brought from selected pharmacies at an inflated rate. Once a month, the user should visit the GP for blood tests to monitor the effects of anabolic steroids on the body.
Body image issues has been heightened more in the 21st century due to easy access to images of ‘media-hyped’ Body Beautiful via Social Media channels. Leading to various companies, from sports nutrition to fitness expo to clothing to gyms, etc. cashing in on the effects of this on the minds of easily influenced mostly youngsters and some older individuals who seek the perfect body to be more attractive be that in their own eyes or the eyes of others.
As a result of seeking the perfect body, many individuals have taken it upon themselves to monitor their food intake, partake in regular exercises, make changes to their habits (e.g. drinking, smoking, lifestyle, etc.). These are good steps.
However, some not satisfied with the results from the changes obtained naturally have started to enhance their bodys with Anabolic steroids (oral &/or injectable). Unfortunately, many who are enhancing their bodys with Anabolic steroids are between the ages of 15 to 30.
Yes, Anabolic steroids have been around for a long time. During its early days (e.g. 1920s to 1970s) usage of Anabolic steroids was very low. Bodybuilders like Arnold S and others would only use Anabolic steroids as a ‘top-up’ rather than the main ‘go-to’ source for bodybuilding. Usage was monitored by the personal trainers and usage-cycles meant that no long-term ill effects on the body happens. More emphasis was given to lifestyle changes, healthy eating and exercise.
However, abuse of Anabolic steroids gained momentum in the 1980s and due to the unfair advantage Anabolic steroids gives athletes, various games competition (e.g. Olympics, World Athletics, etc.) have been carrying out Blood tests and many countries have banned usage &/or selling of Anabolic steroids.
The usage &/or selling of Anabolic steroids in the internet/Social Media age has superseded its initial introductory years. Majority purchases by body-concious and bodybuilders (UK only) is via online purchases and via friends in gyms. Unfortunately, the exact ingredeients is not always what the label says. Many users are not even aware of Post Cycle Therapy (PCT), Impatience has lead to over-dosing and heart attacks, Lacking knowledge of the effects of alcohol and class-A consumption when on Anabolic steroids is causing long-term health problems and in some cases termination of life, Over taking causes ‘Roid Rage’ and personal problems, etc.
Due to lacking involvement of health professionals monitoring usage, users are accessing online sources to understand effects and obtaining self-help kits to monitor issues of Anabolic steroids on body (including blood testing kit). Most do not get the correct information in return, sometimes due to conflicting information online &/or unwillingness to know the truth.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The constant portrayal of Body Beautiful is here to stay and therefore so is the continued usage &/or selling of Anabolic steroids.
Here are steps (UK only) to take to ensure Anabolic steroids are only sold to &/or used by limited users who seek the perfect body &/or want to be Bodybuilders.
1) Anabolic steroids should only be produced in selected pharmaceutical companies in UK (e.g. Roche & GSK).
2) MHRA to regulate the chemical composition and the amount produced.
3) Anabolic steroids shipped in from overseas via purchases made for personal use or selling by individuals &/or purchases made by NHS to supply to patients who require Anabolic steroid treatment – to be stopped and destroyed at port of entry (and no refund to buyers &/or sellers)
4) Individuals seeking the perfect body &/or bodybuilders should have physical health problems &/or be over 35 to gain access to Anabolic steroid prescription.
5) Anabolic steroid prescription should be made available to such individuals only via their GP (the GP should only have the right to certify if someone has such physical health issues that prevents the individual from building muscles the natural way. Users NHS notes should be updated accordingly. The prescription should be ‘private’ prescription and not ‘NHS rate’ prescription.
6) The prescription should be once a month only (this includes prescription of supporting medication to reduce the damage impact of Anabolic steroids on vital organs & PCT) and at end of each month the users should visit GP to get blood tested. If the results of the test are good, users can obtain a 2nd month prescription. If the results are bad, users should hold off an entire month before retaking Anabolic steroids (but this would be dependent on GP advise)
7) The prescription should only be available to buy from selected pharmacies (e.g. Boots & Superdrug), as this will ensure less need for having to monitor all pharmacies who sell Anabolic steroids.
8) The prescription Anabolic steroid price should be 20% to 50% higher than the product itself (e.g. One month supply of D-Bol be £100 RRP, but it be sold at £120 or £150). This will ensure not only the pharmaceutical company get their share from the sale but also the Government can earn healthy tax from the sale)
Unfortunately, individuals between the ages of 15 to 30 are more likely to seek purchasing Anabolic steroids via their gym friends. These gym friends might have purchased Anabolic steroids in bulk via own visits to countries such as Turkey and Thailand where Anabolic steroids can be brought over the counter or off the shelf in local pharmacies. It is unlikely that countries such as Turkey and Thailand will confiscate Anabolic steroids at port of departure, specifically stopping those buyers flying to UK.
However, as hand luggage screening and main luggage screening has become the norm in many countries at port of entry for some years now. UK must adapt the same measures. It might mean at peak times there will be queues of individuals wanting to get to their destinations within UK due to the newly introduced ‘port of entry’ bag checks but it will ensure that illegal items and Anabolic steroids purchased overseas can be confiscated on-spot and destroyed. This will considerably reduce the purchasing of Anabolic steroids from gym friends but also reduce the entry many illegal items and thus ultimately helping uphold national security, reduce crime & terrorism (i.e. no bringing in of extremist materials) and lessen the burden on the NHS (i.e. less cases of individuals over-dosing on illegal substances brought into our country)