New to drug testing: Steroid testing

Image of SteroidsWeek #19

Being new to drug testing and seeing the recent news surrounding performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports, I decided to do some research on the topic. Like most readers, when I stumble upon an article about steroids I assume the subject matter revolves around sports – which isn’t always true. Last week, I had a chance to meet with Randy Clouette, Director of Esoteric Testing at Quest Diagnostics, who specializes in steroid screening. It turns out, some of the largest markets for steroid testing are police and fire departments – not just sports organizations.

Androgenic-anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are classified as Schedule III controlled substances (indicating that they may lead to low or moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence) and are banned by the United States government and professional sports. Over the past decade, anabolic steroid abuse and the use of other performance-enhancing drugs has become a national concern within the public sector as well as sports associations.

While some people abuse these drugs in an attempt to enhance their on the job performance or to improve their physical appearance, some individuals need steroids to treat diseases. Anabolic steroids can be legally prescribed to treat conditions resulting from steroid hormone deficiency, such as delayed puberty, as well as diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass, such as cancer and AIDS.

While there are some benefits to proper steroid use, the negative side effects can be devastating. These effects range from a minor case of oily skin to serious long-term health complications and potentially death.

At Quest Diagnostics, our steroid testing detects more than 20 different commonly abused anabolic agents. Visit our website to learn more about steroid testing.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website.

As a new employee at Quest Diagnostics, there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new about the world of drug testing. Like some of you, I have a lot to learn about the industry. During my first year of employment, I’m going to write this weekly column highlighting drug testing procedures, products and processes as I discover them. To learn more about my journey, you can read my introductory post.