The Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) program was patterned after the ATLAS program, but designed for adolescent girls on sports teams. Early testing of girls enrolled in the ATHENA program showed significant decreases in risky behaviors. While preseason risk behaviors were similar among controls and ATHENA participants, the control athletes were three times more likely to begin using diet pills and almost twice as likely to begin abuse of other body-shaping substances, including amphetamines, anabolic steroids, and muscle-building supplements during the sports season. The use of diet pills increased among control subjects, while use fell to approximately half of the preseason levels among ATHENA participants. In addition, ATHENA team members were less likely to be sexually active, more likely to wear seatbelts, less likely to ride in a car with a driver who had been drinking, and they experienced fewer injuries during the sports season.
About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, . Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at , which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@ . Online ordering is available at . NIDA’s media guide can be found at /publications/media-guide/dear-journalist , and its easy-to-read website can be found at . You can follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook .
What is it? An anabolic/androgenic steroid altered to produce better muscle-building properties, making it very popular for bodybuilders.
How it’s taken: Tablets or injections
Brand names: Winstrol, although that brand is no longer in production in the United States.
Legalities: Regulated as a Schedule III drug, meaning a valid prescription is required for possession.
What it does: Promotes muscle growth. In the past, it has been prescribed for patients with osteoporosis, growth deficiencies and hereditary angioedema, a disease that causes swelling.
Side effects/risks: Oily skin, acne and hair loss. More severe risks include liver damage, cardiovascular strain, mood changes and hardening of the arteries.
In the news: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his 1988 Olympic gold medal after testing positive for stanozolol.