Senate Passes Bill to Make Anabolic Steroids a Controlled Substance

By John Lavitt 01/26/15

The Senate's action was hailed by a number of supplement trade organizations.

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With designer versions of steroids linked to deaths across the country, the Senate passed the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 (H.R. 4771 known as DASCA) in December with unanimous consent.

The bill to makes steroids a controlled substance that will be placed under the regulatory powers of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Originally passed by the House of Representatives in December, H.R. 4771 added “anabolic steroids to the list of substances included in the Controlled Substances Act."

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 (H.R. 4771) is a bill that would expand the list of anabolic steroids regulated by the DEA. The expansion provided by the act would include about two-dozen new substances and would establish new crimes relating to false labeling of steroids. The bill would establish a penalty of up to $500,000 against those found to be falsely labeling their anabolic steroid products.

This type of steroid is designed to enhance muscles and build the user’s physique quickly, but the health risks are extreme.  A recent estimate in an Al Jazeera investigative report indicates that over 10 million Americans each year take anabolic steroids. What is even more frightening is that approximately 4% of the abusers are adolescents. In adolescence, the health risks of taking steroids are greatly increased in light of the ongoing development of the human body.

The Senate also passed S. 2338, the United States Anti-Doping Agency Reauthorization Act. The act authorizes appropriations for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency through 2020. The agency helps to ensure that U.S. athletes don’t use performance-enhancing drugs. It is believed that S. 2338 will be passed by the House as well and both acts of Congress will be signed by the President in the coming months.

Organizations representing varied interests supported the legislation, including a number of supplement trade organizations as well as the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Pharmacists’ Association and United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), explained the organization’s support of the bill:

“Passage of this bill was one of CRN’s top legislative priorities this year, as responsible member companies want to do all that they can to solve the problem of anabolic steroids illegally being sold as dietary supplements," Mister said. "When criminal outliers are not stopped, not only does it put consumers at risk, but it unjustly blackens the reputation of responsible dietary supplement companies that manufacture and market legitimate, high-quality and beneficial supplements for sports nutrition and performance. The passage of DASCA brings a welcome protection against that."

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.