Understanding the Penalty for Possession of Steroids in Australia

Small amounts often lead to alternative sentences, but over 5000 grams almost certainly results in imprisonment.

Steroid use without a prescription is illegal in Australia due to potential health risks and abuse. If you are facing charges, it is crucial to understand the legal framework, potential penalties, and specific substances classified as illegal steroids. This blog discusses the penalty for possession of steroids in Australia, with a specific focus on Queensland, and briefly touching on New South Wales and Victoria.

Legal Status of Steroids in Australia

In Australia, anabolic steroids are classified as controlled drugs under the Poisons Standard. Possession, use, and supply of steroids without a prescription or legitimate medical reason are criminal offences according to the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (QLD) and corresponding legislation in other states. This classification underscores the government’s approach to curbing non-medical use of such substances.

Common Illegal Steroids in Australia

The following is a list of anabolic steroids commonly found on the illegal market in Australia, possession of which can lead to criminal charges:

  • Methandienone (Dianabol)
  • Stanozolol (Winstrol)
  • Oxandrolone (Anavar)
  • Oxymetholone (Anadrol)
  • Nandrolone (Deca-Durabolin)
  • Trenbolone
  • Boldenone (Equipoise)

These substances are often sought for their muscle-building and performance-enhancing effects but are illegal to possess without a valid medical prescription.

Penalties for Steroid Possession Across Key States

Possessing steroids in Queensland is illegal under section 9 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1989.

The penalties are severe and scaled according to the quantity of the drug possessed:

  • Under 50 grams may result in up to 15 years imprisonment.
  • 50 grams or over, up to 20 years.
  • 5000 grams or more, up to 25 years.

Small amounts often lead to alternative sentences, but over 5000 grams almost certainly results in imprisonment.

New South Wales: Under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, possession of steroids can lead to fines and imprisonment for up to two years.

Victoria: According to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, penalties for possession might include imprisonment for up to one year, showing a slightly more lenient approach compared to other states.

Supplying Steroids in Queensland

Supplying steroids is governed by section 6 of the Drugs Misuse Act. The nature of the supply affects the severity of the penalty:

  • Supplying to a child under 16 years old can lead to life imprisonment.
  • Aggravated supply, which includes supplying to minors over 16 but under 18, within educational or correctional facilities, or to intellectually impaired individuals, can incur up to 25 years imprisonment.

Other cases of supply can result in up to 20 years imprisonment. Aggravated supply almost invariably leads to imprisonment.

In other key states:

New South Wales

The penalties for supplying steroids can be severe, depending on the amount and whether it’s deemed to be for commercial purposes. Supplying large quantities can lead to penalties including imprisonment for up to 15 years.

For smaller, non-commercial quantities, the penalties might include lesser terms of imprisonment or fines, but still reflect the seriousness of the offence.


Similar to NSW, the penalties depend on the quantity and intent behind the supply. Severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment, can be imposed for large-scale trafficking. Lesser quantities meant for non-commercial purposes might attract penalties such as fines or shorter terms of imprisonment.

Importing Steroids in Queensland, NSW & VIC

Whether you’re in Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria, importing steroids into Australia without appropriate authority is subject to penalties under both state and federal legislation but is heavily regulated under the Customs Act 1901:

  • Importing less than 20 grams is considered a “prohibited import,” punishable by a fine of three times the value of the goods or 1000 penalty units, whichever is greater.
  • Importing more than 20 grams is classified as importing a “Tier 1 prohibited good,” which can lead to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding 1000 penalty units.

The likelihood of imprisonment for importing a Tier 1 prohibited good increases significantly if intended for commercial purposes.

Facing Charges in Queensland and Need Legal Assistance?

Facing charges for the penalty for possession of steroids in Australia is a serious matter that can impact your future significantly. If you are facing charges related to steroids in Queensland, whether for possession, supply, or importation, the expertise of Guest Lawyers can be invaluable. We specialise in criminal offences including assault and violent crime and drug offences, as well as traffic offences such as drug driving, and provide informed, confidential legal advice to help you navigate several challenging situations. Our experienced team is ready to provide expert legal advice and robust representation to ensure the best possible outcome in your case. Please get in touch.