Steroids are synthetic chemicals similar to the male sex hormone, ‘testosterone.’ Anabolic steroids are typically used to help treat men who are unable to produce sufficient amounts of testosterone on their own. Steroids are also commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes to achieve a boost in their performance and physique.
Anabolic steroids come under the listing of Schedule III controlled substances in the U.S under the Controlled Substances Act, which makes the possession of these drugs illegal without a prescription.
The prohibition laws have not succeeded in eliminating the steroid black market, making underground steroids the new norm.
So what exactly are underground steroids?
Underground steroids are nothing but anabolic steroids but they are manufactured illegally usually in underground labs without the use of proper materials, equipment or supervision. The United States, China, and Mexico are some the major underground steroid manufacturers in the world.
Are Underground Steroids Safe?
According to research, almost 30 percent of the production analyzed by specialists did not contain any of the drugs listed on their labels. Even the ones containing an anabolic steroid, nearly half of them (almost 44 percent), comprised the wrong dosages, either much higher or much lower.
Excessively high doses can lead to severe cases of all the potential side effects of steroids, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, shrinkage of the testicles, infertility or ED, and acne.
With an increasing number of cases, there is also more evidence accumulating the likelihood of acquiring severe psychiatric symptoms, including mania, hostility, or aggression, linked to higher dosages.
Sometimes even the reputable and reliable underground operators with the best intentions, the raw steroid materials originate from a long unregulated chain of supply. Moreover, these materials are not generally manufactured to proper pharmaceutical standards, and hence purity has often fallen between cracks.
What is the process of manufacturing underground steroids?
Underground steroids are not manufactured the same way as legitimate pharmaceutical companies. They tend to utilize simpler manufacturing procedures.
Most of them are entirely inexperienced and their primary motivation being financial gain. An ordinary sink and stove turned into a makeshift but highly illegal drug lab that is most likely not sterilized. Many of them, being unknowledgeable and cretinously, need to use apps on mobile phones to understand the calculation and measurements of the materials that go into the making of the formula.
The raw steroid powder is combined with filler(s) and stuffed into two-piece capsules using a small encapsulating machine or even a hand-held filling tray for oral supplements. Finished capsules are weighed in bottles and then sealed and labeled.
For injectable supplements, steroid powder is usually mixed with oil, benzyl benzoate, and benzyl alcohol which are freely available in the market overheat (usually a stove). The steroid powder dissolves once it reaches its melting point. The solution is then filtered, and measured doses are placed in vials. These are sealed with a crimping tool and then finally labeled. While most underground steroids are usually not contaminated, these products do lack assurance of sterility.
The process generally takes about 45 minutes to one hour to create a batch of about 20 (on a small scale).
Are Underground Steroids made any differently from normal Steroids?
Pharmaceutical steroids are manufactured in an immaculate sterile rooms, controlled under extremely strict conditions to prevent exposure of the product to any bacteria or contamination. A lot of expensive equipment is used. The entire process is constantly being monitored and checked. Regulations and management have been put in place to ensure the manufacturing of clean, sterile, accurately dosed products.
There are a few underground operations, most of them overseas, that probably have their products secretly manufactured by “rogue” pharmaceutical companies. Other than these select few operations, almost all underground steroids are usually hand assembled in the homes or businesses of the operators.
Where do Underground Labs get most of their raw material from?
Most underground labs have complete access to the same pharmaceutical-grade co-solvents and oils, as well as proper beakers and vials, just as legitimate drug companies. They also have access to small-scale filling equipment utilized by compounding pharmacies. These materials are not controlled the same way as steroids and thus are widely traded on the market.
The raw steroid powders used by underground labs are still a significant cause for concern.
Diversion or pirating of steroid raw powders from licensed pharmaceutical manufacturers is rare. Most underground steroid ingredients come from unlicensed chemical companies, mainly from Mexico or china.
Likewise, the steroids traded on the black market tremendously vary in quality. These sorts of labs may lack materials like glass-lined reaction vessels, distilled water, or other expensive manufacturing equipment generally required to produce pure and authentic steroids. Impurity is quite common in these underground products. Filtration is alarmingly insufficient to eliminate many contaminants, including heavy metals, plasticizers, chemicals, or other unlabeled drugs.
A lot of people will use these drugs, in spite of the risks that come along. If you are considering their use, we hope this article has helped you to attain a better understanding of how the underground labs and steroids work.