Trade in anabolic steroids a major problem in NL
The Dutch authorities need to do much more to curb the trade in anabolic steroids. These muscle enhancers are easily and cheaply available online, and tens of thousands of Netherlands residents are using them, experts said to NRC.
The Dutch Doping Authority expects that between 40 thousand and 50 thousand people in the Netherlands are currently using anabolic steroids. "We fear that the use will increase further and that the average user will become younger," Herman Ram, director of the Doping Authority, said to the newspaper.
Dozens of Dutch-language websites sell steroids. "It would be good to try to curb that trade, because it is now very easy to get and not expensive at all," Pim de Ronde, founder of the Netherlands' first steroids outpatient clinic, said to NRC.
The trade in anabolic steroids is also lucrative, with sellers having a low chance of getting caught, according to the newspaper. The approach to steroid trade is fragmented, with various authorities having part of the responsibility, but none having the complete picture.
Anabolic steroids are derived from testosterone, which promotes the construction of proteins and as a result increases muscle mass. Because of this effect, this type of steroid is very popular among athletes like bodybuilders and martial artists.
Steroids have a "direct influence on public health", and politicians need to pay more attention to the problem, Ram of the Doping Authority said.
A spokesperson for Minister Tamara van Ark for Medical Care told NRC that the Ministry will respond to this report after the summer.