Victor Martinez and the GI crew clear the air around recent rumors of the DEA banning TRT.
Earlier this month, news and opinions started circulating within the bodybuilding media about the DEA cracking down on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and potentially banning it. This came just as TRT was gaining acceptance in the mainstream and more open discussions where happening about it’s usefulness for aging bodybuilders. But it seems these fears are largely exaggerated due to confusion around the regulation and how the recent pandemic changed things temporarily for the country. In our latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast, Victor Martinez speaks in detail about the recent DEA crackdown in telemedicine regulations – and how it will actually affect your ability to obtain TRT treatement.
TRT is the new buzzword in bodybuilding as of late. While the treatment itself has been in existence for quite some time, the bodybuilding industry has just started speaking more openly about it thanks in large part to social media. While TRT can have many benefits, when legally prescribed, for anyone needing it as we age – the therapy is also incredible beneficial for professional bodybuilders.
This is due to the fact that many competitive bodybuilders use steroids over a long period of time. This long term use eventually shuts down the body’s natural ability to generate testosterone. Due to this, when a bodybuilder retires and eases off using steroids, they experience a major shift. A sort of withdrawal that can lead to decreased energy, sex drive, and even impotence and depression.
TRT is a completely legal way to remedy this issue. It provides a bodybuilder with the ability to get regulated doses of testosterone. The goal here not being to bulk up massive muscle but instead to bring the body back to normal levels. This is incredibly important for bodybuilders long term health both mentally and physically.
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Is The DEA Banning TRT?
This brings us to 2023 and the recent announcement that the DEA would be cracking down on regulations for telemedicine. Specifically for the prescription of schedule 3, 4, and 5 drugs. Steroids and testosterone substances are classified as a schedule 3 drug.
The announcement specifically refers to making in-person visits to a doctor a requirement in order to be prescribed a schedule 3 drug – in this case testosterone or TRT. Many in the bodybuilding industry worried that this would lead to making TRT treatment an impossibility for many.
But as Victor Martinez points out, this is not an actual change or new regulation. In fact, this regulation has been in place since 2008. However, when the spread of COVID-19 was officially labeled a pandemic – the enforcement of this law was reduced to essentially zero.
The reason for this, of course, was due to the impossibility of many to obtain in-person visits with doctors. Many states mandated complete shutdowns of in-person activities. Even in states where this was not mandated – the CDC recommended that most individuals avoid in-person events as often as possible. This included doctor visits with exception for emergencies.
The world and the United States is in a very different place today in 2023 than the first year of the pandemic. Life has largely returned to normal and no restrictions or recommendations are in place to avoid in-person events. Due to this, the DEA announced that enforcement of telemedicine regulations would return to normal.
Victor Martinez understands this decision, as he believes many were likely taking advantage of the relaxed regulations to obtain prescriptions they otherwise would have no right obtaining. But Martinez does point out that the bodybuilding world should not be worried. If an individual has a valid reason for needing TRT, they can simply visit a doctor in person and go through the process as usual.
While some primary care doctors might want to avoid recommending TRT, the country is in a very different place compared to even five years ago. In-person TRT clinics are on the rise and available more than ever before. The necessity for obtaining prescriptions via telemedicine is less vital, despite the new crackdown making it less convenient.
TRT, as mentioned at the top of this article, is a buzzword. So of course, any notice made by the DEA involving TRT is making headlines. The overreaction is in large part due to confusion as well as the “controversy obsessed” algorithm of social media benefitting those who make shocking headlines. Ultimately, it must be made clear that no new law or regulation is in place. Traditional enforcement is simply returning to the post-pandemic world.
You can watch Victor Martinez discuss the topic in more detail with the GI team by checking out the latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast above. You can also catch other topics discussed that we couldn’t fit in this recap – such as a follow up on how testosterone affects women vs men.
Don’t forget to check back every Tuesday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever you listen to podcasts.