DEA Cracking Down on Steroids
Author: Justin Mckibben
These days it seems juicing is a bigger problem than you would think.
No, not the juicing with blended berries and vegetable smoothies, that kind of juicing is still delicious and awesome.
We’re talking steroids; Performance enhancing drugs. These kinds of illegal supplements are creating a bit of an issue, and we’ve seen it a lot over the years with professional athletes. Some award winning athletes have even been stripped of their championship trophies and titles after being exposed for using illegal substances to get a leg up in their respective sports.
Well now the problem is being met with a revitalized sense of force as the DEA steps in to crack down harder on the use and sale of steroids, and the global impact of trying to put a stop to the smuggling of steroids from other countries has actually involved a lot of other entities.
Anabolic Steroid Abuse
Steroids, specifically anabolic steroids, are synthetic substances related to the male sex hormones (e.g., testosterone) used to promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects). Anabolic steroids are also used for the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects) in both males and females.
- The primary medical uses of these compounds are to treat:
- Delayed puberty
- Some types of impotence
- Wasting of the body caused by HIV infection or other diseases
So these substances are not all bad. There is a real reason steroids can be used legitimately for health reasons. However, abusing steroids is a different story. Most people abuse steroids to improve their athletic performance, or to increase their muscle size or to reduce their body fat.
Evidence has shown by the characteristics of continuous steroid users that these substances can be addictive, and People who abuse steroids can experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced sex drive
The most dangerous of the withdrawal symptoms is depression, because it sometimes leads to suicide attempts, and in the news we have seen this before over the years when it has taken form in tragic events with celebrity athletes.
Operation Cyber Juice
In a huge move against steroid smuggling and sales in America the DEA launched over 30 different U.S. investigations into the global trade of performance-enhancing drugs, which brought down 90 people in connection to these drug rings. The agency announced this latest development in a press release on Tuesday.
The DEA dubbed the investigations and the enforcement that followed Operation Cyber Juice. The 30+ stings were carried out in 20 different states across America, and the DEA was able to act in cooperation with a few other agencies, including:
- Department of Homeland Security
- S. Postal Inspection Service
- US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
- World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
For most of these cases there was a focal point aimed at the sale and trafficking of anabolic steroids, a large portion of which originated in China. In the recent press release WADA Director General David Howman said,
“By partnering with USADA and the DEA in this major steroid operation, WADA has been able to prevent potentially harmful steroid substances from getting into the hands of athletes looking for an edge. This is a good example of anti-doping and law enforcement working well together to further their own efforts of reducing doping and protecting public health.”
Operation Cyber Juice was able to not only make dozens of arrests as a result of these joint investigation, but also the DEA said in its announcement that throughout the course of the inquiry law enforcement officials discovered:
- 16 underground steroid labs
- 134,000 steroid dosage units
- 636 kilograms of raw steroid powder
- 8,200 liters of raw steroid injectable liquid
- Over $2 million in U.S. currency and assets
So beyond putting several individuals involved with the trafficking and distribution of illegal steroids, the DEA and all agencies involved helped to capture a shocking amount of materials and money linked with this underground industry to get the substances off the streets.
DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg spoke directly on the impact steroid abuse is having on people, and in the press release was vocal about taking a stand with Operation Cyber Juice, stating:
“Too many young people are ruining their lives and damaging their bodies from steroid abuse. Through Operation Cyber Juice, DEA is attacking the global underground steroid market, exposing its danger and lies.”
While many believe that steroids are not as serious a problem as illicit narcotics, the truth is they can become just as addictive and do massive amounts of damage to the user’s body. Operation Cyber Juice has taken a big step in trying to cut off the stream of steroids pouring into the country, and in the midst of such big changes in America involving drug abuse and addiction all progress points to some hope.
Athletes and celebrities are not the only people in danger of a serious addiction, be it steroids or other narcotics, and they are definitely not the only ones who experience the more severe circumstances and consequences of drug abuse.
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