ATLAS teaches young athletes to choose healthy diet and exercise over drugs
A national addiction consulting firm has partnered with Oregon Health & Science University to distribute materials designed to prevent steroid use and eating disorders among high school athletes throughout the country.
Addiction Intervention Resources (AIR), which provides solutions to issues that lead to or arise out of addictive behaviors, has licensed OHSU's award-winning program for male adolescent athletes, ATLAS, or Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids.
"ATLAS fully embodies the standards AIR sets within our prevention programs and services," said Chip Dempsey, AIR vice president. "We strive to provide prevention programs that are research-based and outcome-driven. This nationally recognized, award winning program certainly meets our criteria."
ATLAS is taught by coaches and student leaders who use peer and team influences to promote nutrition and exercise.
"AIR considers education combined with early intervention the best form of prevention," Dempsey said. "AIR has licensed ATLAS because the curriculum gives coaches and teachers an interactive way to educate their student-athletes on the dangers of steroids, alcohol and other drug use, all very relevant concerns for today's high school students."
OHSU has long been a national leader in adolescent health promotion and drug use prevention.
"Through this licensing agreement, OHSU and AIR will both meet their missions of providing products for public use and benefit," said Jessica Zeaske, Ph.D, licensing associate in OHSU's office of Technology and Research Collaborations.
OHSU holds the copyright to ATLAS. Under the licensing agreement, AIR receives the right to sell and distribute the materials domestically and internationally. OHSU will receive royalties and reimbursements, depending on which materials are sold.
Initiated in 1993 with a five-year National Institute on Drug Abuse grant, ATLAS has proved successful in reducing the use of anabolic steroids, sports supplements, alcohol and other illicit drugs among male adolescent athletes in schools nationwide. Consequently, it has been designated a "Model Program" by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is one of only nine "Exemplary Programs" of the U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
"Contrary to popular belief, student-athletes are not protected from health- harming behaviors, including the use of steroids, alcohol and other drugs," explained Linn Goldberg, M.D., professor of medicine and head of the Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine, and principal investigator of ATLAS. "By emphasizing the impact of alcohol and other drugs on immediate sport performance rather than potential and abstract long-term complications, our approach appeals to the adolescent's focus on the here and now."
Trainers from OHSU teach coaches how to run these programs, which are easy to implement. For more information about ATLAS, visit http://www.ohsu.edu/hpsm/index.html
For more information about AIR, which is based in St. Paul, Minn., call 800-561-8158 or visit http://www.addictionintervention.com/
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