Where Do People Get Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are frequently used by bodybuilders in order to gain mass and muscles much more quickly than it would normally take. In most cases, these people are illegally using them.
Doctors will sometimes prescribe steroids for legit purposes, such as kids who have growth disorders or people with other types of medical problems.
But those who abuse them illegally still get their hands on them, and it seems like they do it easily since they use them frequently and often on a regular basis. So how do these people get their steroids and where are they coming from?
Well there's more than one answer to that question since there's multiple places or sources that illegal steroids can come from.
For those who don't have legal prescriptions for steroids, here's some of the various ways they still manage to get them.
The market for online steroids is massive and so it's not surprising that thousands of websites have popped up on the internet over the years offering to sell steroids to people in other countries.
Some of these websites are scams and will only steal money from those who try to purchase something, but many of them actually sell anabolic steroids.
When a new customer purchases some through their website, they'll ship the product to that customer in whatever country they're in. Customs will usually be looking for things like this, so they can seize the illegal product before it enters the customer's country, so there's always the risk of it being confiscated while in transit.
However, they can't check everything and the website owners may even be disguising it as something else to get it through customs.
Majority of the online shops operate out of countries where there is little enforcement to stop them, or they set up new websites and take down the old ones so quickly that law enforcement and the DEA has a hard time keeping up with them.
Every year there's hundreds of online steroid stores that end up in the news after they've been discovered by authorities and shut down.
In some countries, you can buy anabolic steroids over the counter in pharmacies. Sometimes it's technically illegal but the pharmacists will still sell it to someone if that person has enough money or can bring the pharmacist enough business.
Many steroid abusers travel to places like Thailand, where they can legally purchase steroids from certain pharmacies over the counter.
A plane ticket may cost them a thousand dollars, but since the economy is so weak, the steroids they buy are usually cheap enough to make up for the plane ticket and can be bought at just a fraction of what they would cost in other countries like the United States, Australia, and England.
They will load up on steroids and then return home until it's time to load up again. Taking the steroids through customs in their home country is usually illegal and risky, so they may even spend a month or so in the other country while working out and taking the steroids.
When they do that, they'll frequently do it throughout the year, about 3 to 4 times. They call these periods "cycles" or "steroid holidays".
The most common source of illegal steroids for those who take them is through drug dealers. The dealers themselves get their stuff from various sources, and they're usually very low-key about what they're doing for obvious reasons.
They'll find customers by spending time in gyms and getting friendly with other members of those gyms. In one scenario, a dealer may be hanging out in the gym when he notices a new member, a skinny man who he's never seen before. He walks over and tells the skinny man that he'll spot him when he's lifting weights, so the new member doesn't hurt himself.
They strike up a friendship and the dealer will eventually suggest that the skinny guy starts taking steroids to buff up faster. He'll then start the client-dealer relationship slowly, by telling the other person that he's not a dealer and gets the steroids from someone else.
This makes the new member feel more comfortable in taking them, because he thinks that the person offering to get them for him is not a dealer and just a fellow weightlifter who also takes them.
But this isn't the only scenario in which dealers make connections with new customers.
They'll also gain customers simply through word of mouth or by making friends with bodybuilders in online forums or other places where weightlifting enthusiasts meet up.
A lot of steroid users doctor shop in order to get prescriptions for anabolic steroids. Doctor shopping is when a person goes from clinic to clinic seeing doctors for a fake illness, until they find a doctor that is willing to prescribe them medication for said illness.
Their goal is to get the doctors to write out prescriptions for anabolic steroids, and once they find a doctor who does this they'll return to the same person again and again.
So the search for a doctor can take them a long time and cost them a lot of money if they have no insurance, but it's worth it to them because once they find the right doctor, they'll have a completely legitimate way to get their steroids every few months.
Some weightlifters make their own fake prescriptions and pick them up at pharmacies in countries or places where there isn't much risk of getting caught. They'll either counterfeit the forms themselves, or they'll steal the forms from doctor's offices.
This is more common amongst drug addicts trying to get opioids and painkillers, but there have been a few people caught here and there for trying to attain steroids in the same manner.
They'll go to a pharmacy and get their prescription filled using the fake forms, then they'll go to a completely different pharmacy owned by a different company on the other side of town.
These people will do this multiple times until they're stocked up with everything they need for a few years and then they'll attempt to return to their own city or country.
This is obviously the riskiest way to get steroids, but some people who do it probably think it's less risky since they're getting their medicine from a valid source and not a shady dealer who may be selling them fake or dangerous stuff.
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