Anabolic steroids are drugs that replicate the effects of male hormones, like testosterone, on the body. Steroids increase cell synthesis of proteins, which then results in a buildup of tissues in the cells, particularly in the muscles. These substances also develop and maintain masculine qualities, such as enhancing the vocal cords, testicles and body hair. Long-term use of anabolic steroids can have a negative impact on the body and, conversely, their use can also result in unnatural physical abilities. These abilities can unfairly impact the results of sporting events, such as bodybuilding and baseball.
Although it was initially recommended that anabolic steroids be added to the list of substances coming under the Controlled Substances Act, many in the medical and drug enforcement community opposed such an action, claiming that steroids lacked both the physical and psychological dependence required for this type of classification. However, despite these objections, with the passage of the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990 (ASCA), anabolic steroids (all substances related to testosterone) were added to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. Other provisions of the ASCA included aggressive controls with increased criminal penalties for the illegal distribution of steroids. Although the majority of anabolic steroids are produced in pharmaceutical labs, they can also be created in home labs for trade on the black market, mainly in gyms and at athletic competitions.