Laws and Penalties: Concerns over growing illegal AAS abuse by teenagers, and many of the just discussed long-term effects, led Congress in 1991 to place the whole AAS class of drugs into Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Under this legislation, AAS are defined as any drug or hormonal substance, chemically and pharmacologically related to T (other than estrogens, progestins, and corticosteroids) that promotes muscle growth. The possession or sale of AAS without a valid prescription is illegal. Since 1991, simple possession of illegally obtained AAS carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a minimum $1,000 fine if this is an individual’s first drug offense. The maximum penalty for trafficking (selling or possessing enough to be suspected of selling) is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if this is the individual’s first felony drug offense. If this is the second felony drug offense, the maximum period of imprisonment and the maximum fine both double. While the above listed penalties are for federal offenses, individual states have also implemented fines and penalties for illegal use of AAS. State executive offices have also recognized the seriousness of AAS abuse and other drugs of abuse in schools. For example, the State of Virginia enacted a law that will allow student drug testing as a legitimate school drug prevention program (48, 49).
By the mid-1980s, anabolic steroid use had trickled down into nearly every aspect of sports and athletics – including high school athletics . Anabolic steroid use at this point became a heavy and integral part of sports at every level, and at this same time in the mid-1980s, increasing concern over anabolic steroid use by high school athletes had become widespread. This resulted in many schools implementing anti-steroid and anabolic steroid “education” programs. The fact of the matter is that these programs implemented resulted in a gross failure, as they had centered on scare tactics and gross misinformation in the hopes of coercing teenagers and high school students away from anabolic steroid use. There is an overwhelming amount of data in existence that provides a clear display that these scare tactics proved not only to be highly ineffective, but in fact have had the opposite effect on the youth it had been attempted on. As a result, there are many growing movements in existence that have promoted a change to a more “truth and education” centered program designed to teach and influence teenagers away from anabolic steroid use.