ATLAS Aims To Lower Athlete Steroid Use

The two most common types of steroid abuses are athlete steroid use and non athlete steroid use. Athlete steroid use means the use of anabolic steroids by athletes in competitive sports. Non athlete steroid use is the use of anabolic steroids for non athletic or cosmetic reasons.

Steroids are widely abused by athletes nowadays. The NIDA-supported Monitoring the Future studies have revealed the number of young athletes, students, and teens has always been on surge. According to Dr. Ro Nemeth-Coslett of NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, the athlete steroid use is more often among young people who are involved in physical training, because anabolic steroids can increase muscle mass, strength, and stamina.

The majority of adolescent boys in athlete steroid use include high school students, particularly those involved in athletics such as football or body building. National surveys have revealed that adolescent girls are also widely involved in athlete and non athlete steroid use.

According to Dr. Linn Goldberg of Oregon Health Sciences University, the adolescent girls involved in non athlete steroid use are the girls who seek to stay thin. The adolescent girls in non athlete steroid use include the girls engaged in athletic activities ranging from track and field, soccer, basketball, and volleyball to school dance and drill teams.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded “ADOLESCENTS TRAINING AND LEARNING TO AVOID STEROIDS (ATLAS) PROGRAM” was designed to combat athlete steroid use among young athletes. The ATLAS was aimed to lower the use of anabolic steroids among high school athletes and encourage healthy nutrition and exercise behavior. The program included classroom and weight-training sessions to educate student athletes the risk factors of athlete steroid use.

According to Dr. Linn Goldberg, who led the research team that developed and tested the program, The Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) program uses a team-oriented educational approach that motivates and empowers student athletes to stay away from athlete steroid use.

Dr. Goldberg articulates that the athlete steroid use prevention program ATLAS is comprised of highly interactive classes and sessions to explore the effects of steroids, the elements of sports nutrition, and strength-training alternatives to athlete steroid use. The classes teach decision-making and drug-refusal skills to athletes. The coaches, who have a great influence on student athletes, play an important role in the athlete steroid use prevention program; the coaches introduce topics and wrap up each session.

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