Dear William, I purchased a 10ml bottle of testosterone enanthate from [an underground lab distributed on the Internet]. It contains 250mg/ml of steroid. Is this lab good? My dealer said it is a high quality underground steroid. What exactly does that mean?
A: I really cannot comment on the quality of this particular underground lab, as I know nothing about the operation nor have tested any of their products. I can address in a very general sense this recent trend towards underground steroid manufacturing labs, however, and what this means for the consumer and marketplace. For those unfamiliar, an underground steroid lab is a secret illegal operation that makes steroids specifically for sale on the black market. Decades ago, the black market was fed almost exclusively with products diverted from legitimate sources, such as doctors, pharmacies, veterinarians, and medicine wholesalers. We are talking the 1960’s and 70’s, a time when demand was growing but still mainly isolated to competitive athletics. Strong criminal laws were not in place that really prevented such diversion, and as a result, the steroid buying public had ready access to quality (clean) pharmaceuticals. Boy, times have changed, and not for the better.
A counterfeit market exploded in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, due to growing demand for steroids and shrinking supplies. Laws were being passed that made it much more difficult to divert these drugs to the black market in bulk. Some dealers were importing drugs to help fill the gap, but this supply chain was never sufficient. The counterfeit market has grown at a fast pace ever since. The black market has continued to evolve over the years into a monstrous industry filled with illicitly produced steroids, often of dubious quality. With this, a new breed of drug has emerged called the “Underground Steroid”. These products aren’t copies of real pharmaceutical brands, but are new brands, openly known to be from underground companies. Twenty years ago these would have generally all been considered counterfeits, but today underground labs are a new principle source for steroids on the black market, and are accepted by many buyers. These underground companies are basically unlicensed renegade manufacturers, making the drugs that the pharmaceutical industry (for the most part) wants to restrict from athletes. To some they are heroes, while to others they are unscrupulous profiteers.
It has become commonplace now that steroid dealing in many areas has taken on an underground home-manufacturing model. In this case a dealer buys a kilo or two of raw steroid powder from an overseas source, and makes his/her own product with it. You basically just need a scale, some empty vials, oil & alcohol for mixing, a hand crimpier to seal the bottles, and a few syringe filters to clean up the product a bit. A small hand-capping machine can be used to make orals. Add a laser printer to run labels and you have a fully functional underground steroid production facility right at your kitchen table. You can run a few hundred bottles of this or that, and turn an amazing profit on a fairly small investment. The materials to do this are readily available, and the number of such labs in operation these days is staggering. In fact, these products may presently be close to holding a majority of the marketplace.
Underground steroids made as described above are cheap and extremely common to find right now. They are abundant in almost every corner of the market, especially in the United States and Canada. It must be emphasized, however, that underground steroids can also be unsterile, impure, and dangerous. Clearly they are not coming from licensed and monitored pharmaceutical facilities. This is something far different. To begin with, the quality of material used to make these drugs is often at issue, which may come from non-pharmaceutical origins and be of a low grade. This may include notable heavy metals contamination, or the presence of a host of other unwanted impurities. The handling and packaging of the drugs is also being done under far less than sterile conditions, making the possibility of biological contamination in processing notable. That is not to mention the simple chance for mistakes when drugs are being made under such conditions. All this raises serious health concerns with the use of “Underground Gear”.
That is not to say all underground products are bad. There are many larger (and better run) operations than I have described above. Some actually contract real drug manufacturing facilities in other countries to make their products, and make every attempt to assure they are selling clean and sterile steroids. Some are pharmaceutical quality, no doubt. But these operations are smaller in number that the vast base of home-production businesses, so it is a “buyer beware” market today. While I wouldn’t say that all underground drugs absolutely must be avoided, I would suggest that you stick to legitimate pharmaceutical products unless you are absolutely sure that what you are buying is a clean quality drug. Can you say that you know that for certain of the UGL? It doesn’t sound like it based on your question, and on that note I’d probably suggest avoiding it.