In many cases, when you hear the word steroids, you probably think about the different athletes who try to cheat the system by using drugs that enhance their performance. While this definition of steroids has some elements of truth in it, there is a broader understanding of steroids that goes beyond athletes’ doping.
Before delving into the details of the laws governing the use of steroids in Canada, it is crucial to understand what steroids are.
What Are Steroids?
Scientists use the term steroids to refer to different things. Steroids could be the naturally occurring hormones in the body responsible for directing the functions of body organs. Alternatively, steroids could be artificially manufactured chemicals people use to alter body functions.
When considering the question: Are steroids legal in Canada, you are probably more concerned about artificial steroids. There are two distinct types of artificial steroids. These are corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids, or anabolics in short.
Corticosteroids are a class of anti-inflammatory medication. Medical practitioners prescribe corticosteroids to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and allergic reactions. You can get some corticosteroids over-the-counter in some pharmacies. However, if you want to get the stronger ones, you will need a prescription from a doctor or a medical practitioner. In summary, corticosteroids have many legitimate uses.
Anabolics are synthetic products manufactured to mimic the effect and functions of the male testosterone hormone. The testosterone hormone is responsible for developing male reproductive tissues such as the testes and sperms. Additionally, the hormone is responsible for secondary male characteristics such as high body mass, muscles, and deeper voices.
Your doctor may prescribe anabolics in instances where your body produces very little of the testosterone hormone. Other than that, anabolics have limited legitimate uses.
Illegitimate Uses of Anabolics
While physicians can prescribe steroids to help increase the testosterone levels in the body, users of anabolic steroids often use them for unlawful purposes. For instance, athletes may use anabolic steroids to try and increase their muscles and build up their bodies. Many weightlifters between the ages of 20 and 30 use anabolic steroids alongside their other training regimens to exponentially improve their weight and muscle gains.
Athletes also use anabolic steroids to increase their energy levels and tolerance to heavy exercise. For instance, runners use anabolic steroids to recover faster between training sessions, allowing them to train more and run faster and longer. Using steroids for such purposes without a doctor’s prescription could be subject to legal scrutiny.
Legal Framework for Steroids in Canada
The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada governs the use of different medications and drugs. The Act prohibits obtaining a controlled substance, possessing it, or using it except as authorized under the law. Schedule I of the Act includes anabolic steroids as part of the controlled substances prohibited under the laws of Canada. Canadian law notes that anabolic steroids have no medical use. As such, they are unsafe to be used even in limited and controlled clinical studies.
Therefore, the Canadian laws provide that anyone who imports or exports anabolic steroids without the express authorization of the Ministry of Health commits a criminal offense. Additionally, anyone who gives away offers to sell, produces, possess, or seek an anabolic steroid commits a criminal offense.
The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act provides for significant penalties for violating the laws given above. One could serve a jail term, pay a substantial fine, or both.
However, it is vital to note that you can be permitted to use anabolic steroids if you have a legitimate reason as prescribed by a doctor or a physician.
Risks of Using Anabolic Steroids
Aside from the possible criminal sanctions associated with using anabolic steroids, the products have numerous health effects. Using anabolic steroids for illegitimate purposes can cause side effects such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, shrunken testicles, hair loss, severe acne, and breast development in men.
In women, anabolic steroids can cause an enlarged clitoris, deepening of the voice, breast size reduction, baldness, and increased facial hair. These side effects are often permanent and irreversible.
Users of anabolic steroids have also complained about psychological side effects such as emotional volatility and mood swings, depression, mania, psychosis and hallucinations, and extreme aggression.
These side effects are risky as they impede the interpersonal interactions people have with each other. They can also hamper your ability to function in the sport or task, which makes you take steroids in the first place.
Since steroids are illegal in Canada and a health hazard, you should consider other alternatives to steroids that serve the same purpose. It would help if you considered getting a qualified personal fitness trainer that will give you an efficient training regimen to increase your body mass and build your muscles. Personal trainers are skilled and capable of providing the advice you need to achieve your body-building goals.
Alternatively, you can create a personal training schedule based on your goals and research. The internet has multiple sources of information to guide you in this venture. Using a personal training schedule might reduce the costs of getting a trainer to advise you on how to work on your body. Lastly, consider getting a diet that can build up your muscles. The diet should include products such as red meat, poultry, and fish. You could add grains such as whole meal bread, oatmeal, and cereals. Dairy products such as low-fat milk can also help you achieve your goals concerning body-building.