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Business in Counterfeit Steroids Booms as Demand for Drug Grows

Fake steroids have become a booming offshoot of the steroid business, due largely to the ignorance and naivete of teen-age users, according to police and health officials.

The quality of steroids on the black market, especially supplies coming from Mexico, has become a big issue, with salt and sugar showing up in pills. In one case, a young buyer had no idea what he was getting when he purchased a bottle of “steroids.”

Keith Shackleford, 26, a former college football player who is a private investigator in Huntington Beach, recalled that he has a friend who got what he thought were steroids in pill form. The pills came from Mexico with a label written in Spanish.

“He didn’t speak Spanish. He just took the guy’s word who sold him the stuff that they were steroids,” Shackleford said.

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The friend used the pills and noticed that he was retaining a lot of water. Finally, he took the bottle to a friend who spoke Spanish and had him translate.

“The guy had been taking birth-control pills,” Shackleford said. “He got off the stuff but think about what could have happened if the pills had been something deadly. A lot of guys will take another guy’s word as gospel just because the guy is big and buffed. They figure he knows what he’s talking about.”


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