The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 (P.L. 113–260)— DASCA—gives DEA additional authority to identify and quickly respond when new designer anabolic steroids—illegal drugs—are falsely marketed as dietary supplements.

The law:

  • Places new designer anabolic steroids on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Controlled Substances Act (CSA) list.
  • Changes the criteria for scheduling additional anabolic steroids on the CSA list, making it easier for DEA to identify and list new chemicals.
  • Allows DEA to place a substance on the CSA on a temporary basis while it proceeds with a permanent order if a new substance has a chemical structure that closely resembles other anabolic steroids already on the CSA list, and if those manufacturing or marketing the finished product are promoting its anabolic effects (i.e., “promotes muscle growth or otherwise causes a pharmacological effect similar to that of testosterone”).
  • Imposes enhanced criminal and civil penalties for possessing or trafficking in any anabolic steroid or product containing an anabolic steroid.
  • Requires the DEA Administrator to report to Congress every two years.

Since 2010, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a crackdown on anabolic steroids in dietary supplements, FDA has issued more than 80+ warning letters, consumer advisories and product recalls for products that it has found to illegally contain anabolic steroids.

Dietary supplements are legal products used by more than 150 million Americans each year and anabolic steroids are controlled substances that are illegal without a prescription. Specifically, anabolic steroids are hormones that can trigger the body to produce testosterone and estrogen and are often used to increase muscle size and strength but have significant adverse effects. Dietary supplements do not result in such drastic changes in the body and should not be expected to replace hard work and the necessary healthy habits that athletes must develop to be well conditioned. Dietary supplements are a cost-effective way for consumers to take an active role in managing their healthcare. Combined with other healthful practices, dietary supplements are a component of smart lifestyle choices, playing a key role in preventive healthcare and overall good health.