Programs Teaching Young Athletes To Avoid Steroids Awarded

by admin on October 19, 2022

By Annika Lindorsson Krugel

Mentor International, the coordinating focal point of the Mentor Foundation, has awarded its “Achievement Award” to two Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) programs for their work in teaching young athletes about healthy alternatives to steroids, sport supplements, alcohol and other drugs.

Mentor International works globally in collaboration with governments, corporations, Non-Governmental-Organizations and others involved in the field of drug prevention. Their “Prevention Awards” help recognize and celebrate the work and achievements of extraordinary drug abuse prevention programs all over the world.

Jeff Lee, Executive Director of the Mentor Foundation said about the awards: “Mentor’s global focus is to identify and share effective and promising practice in prevention and to share this with the international drug prevention community. The awards offer the chance to celebrate and share success in prevention and to collaborate in making the achievements known to others”.

The Achievement Award

The “Achievement Award” is specifically designed to reward projects that work to prevent drug use by children and young people. The awarded Oregon programs, ATLAS and ATHENA, were developed by Linn Goldberg, M.D., and Diane Elliot, M.D. of the OHSU School of Medicine. “We are very honored to receive this award, which will enable us to work with the Mentor International Scientific Advisory Network to pilot ATLAS and ATHENA with young athletes in other countries,” Goldberg said of the award.

Elliot added: “Many countries have a significant problem with the rise of performance-enhancing drugs and supplements among their young athletes. It is our hope that we can help reverse this trend with our science-based programs”.

ATLAS: Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids

The program was initiated in 1993 with the help of a five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It has since developed into the first – and only – program of its kind to be able to prove a reduction among male adolescent athletes’ desire, as well as use of, anabolic steroids, sport supplements, alcohol and other drugs.

ATHENA: Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives

The program was made possible after NIDA provided an additional grant in 1999. Like ATLAS it is the first and only proved program to reduce eating disorders, body-shaping drug use and other health-harming behaviors among female high school athletes.

Teen Steroid Use

Although steroid use in teenagers remains fairly low it is still troubling that many athletes start using them, considering the serious health consequences. A NIDA study from 2009 showed that 2.2 per cent of male 12th graders in the U.S. had ever tried steroids, with the percentage of 8th to 10th graders being 1.3. The number of girls that have ever tried steroids is consistently lower than that of boys; in 2008 the number of 12th grade girls was reportedly 0.6 per cent.


Drug Prevention Programs for Teen Athletes Earn International Acclaim,, Oct 16 2010

About Mentor International, The Mentor Foundation,

NIDA InfoFacts: Steroids (Anabolic-Androgenic), National Institute on Drug Abuse,

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