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Early attempts to prevent steroid abuse concentrated on drug testing and on educating students about the drugs' adverse effects.
A more sophisticated approach has shown promise for preventing steroid abuse among players on high school sports teams. In the ATLAS program, developed for male football players, coaches and team leaders discuss the potential effects of anabolic steroids and other illicit drugs on immediate sports performance, and they teach how to refuse offers of drugs. They also discuss how strength training and proper nutrition can help adolescents build their bodies without the use of steroids. Later, special trainers teach the players proper weightlifting techniques.
A program designed for adolescent girls on sports teams, patterned after the program designed for boys, is currently being tested.