Police_steroidsAside from bodybuilding and other sporting field, anabolic steroids are popular in professions that require physical power and assertiveness like law enforcement.

Anabolic steroids can bulk up a user in immediate and impressive way. This is why they are being used by police officers and firefighters despite the possible legal and health risks. The legal risks involved have been recently amplified with the federal investigation on several law enforcement officers in Tennessee. To date, the probe has resulted to suspension and firing of police officers. Said investigation is still ongoing and now has expanded to involve several states across the country.

There is so much stigma attached to use of steroids in sports, and that emotion is heightened when applied to their use in law enforcement. The fact that these substances, which can cause aggressive and irrational behavior, are used by people who are supposed to uphold the law elicits stigma – and fear – among the public.

Despite the well-known fact that use of steroids can destroy one’s career, as well as the stigma that may be caused by their use, why do these individuals still avail of these drugs?

Gene Sanders, a former law enforcer and a veteran police psychologist in California, succinctly explains the motivation: “The thinking is that big is better than small, tough is better than weak.”

Unfortunately, such motivation is also what pushing criminals to use steroids. Yes, criminals, too, have tested the potentials of anabolic steroids. In countries like Norway, for instance, there are reports that criminals use substances that give them ‘feelings of invincibility’. In its capital Oslo, criminals are reportedly taking ‘torpedoes’, which are blends of steroids and amphetamines to induce psychopathic state.  However, it seems the use of ‘torpedoes’ is completely misrepresented.  It seems that drug users never even buy steroids to begin with, and the cocktails have no steroids in them – only meth and painkillers.

If this is the case, should officers be blamed or punished for using steroids that can make them more effective in carrying out their duties against criminals? Being bigger and stronger is also a safety net for these officers who are constantly faced with life-threatening situations.