In this section you can find information on the production and distribution of human enhancement drugs (HEDs).
The legal status of human enhancement drugs varies considerably depending on the context (see table 1). For instance, certain types of human enhancement drugs (e.g., steroids) may be legally obtained through a physician, or depending on the country, the consumption and supply of these products may be in fact legal. Consequently, there are many sources through which dealers and users may obtain human enhancement drugs. Indeed, studies confirm that users acquire their human enhancement drugs through numerous sources including physicians and the Internet. In recent years the Internet in particular has become a growing source to purchase and sell human enhancement drugs. The Internet is of great importance in the development of drug markets, as it leaves people free to obtain ‘prescription’ medication from countries with markedly different drug laws. These prescription medications can easily be shipped to the West, often from Asian countries, via online ‘pharmacies’ (see table 1). Further, human enhancement drugs can be sold both legally (e.g., online pharmacy) or illegally online (e.g., steroid-selling website), and can likewise come from pharmaceutical (e.g., foreign pharmacy selling human enhancement drugs online without need for prescription) or non-pharmaceutical online sources (e.g., human enhancement drugs that are illegally produced and then sold online). While the Internet is mentioned as a separate category in table 1, in essence it is all-encompassing as all other categories may fall within this source.
Table 1: Overview of sources to obtain human enhancement drugs
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