May 24, 2022
With testing established to be too costly, the question of how to solve unprescribed steroid usage in high schools arises.
According to Smith, the key is education and awareness programs.
“It’s more about the education that goes on within programs in schools because we have a lot of education about illegal drugs and substances that go on at schools. And with that, you hope the kids are cognizant of that and aware of the long-term effects and then choose to stay away,” Smith said.
Steunenberg emphasizes how the administration applies this to Carlmont’s education programs.
“As part of the life skills curriculum during 9th grade, there is a unit on drug use. While I think it primarily focuses on the negative effects of street drugs, there is an emphasis that any illegal drug can have long-term impacts on a person’s life,” Steunenberg said.
One possible program that steroid research has recommended is motivational interviewing.
At the root of it, motivational interviewing aims to explore and strengthen goals and morals through a series of open-ended questions, serving as a therapeutic experience.
“Motivational interviewing should be employed to explore the goals and values of the athlete, including where they want to go in life after sport. During this process, discrepancies are developed, and motivation for avoiding or altering drug use behavior builds. At the same time, this process builds confidence in the athlete’s ability to enhance their natural ability through undergoing puberty and utilizing evidence-based nutrition and physical training regimens. Health care providers should assist in encouraging this self-efficacy through the provision of evidence-based, safe alternatives to PEDs or directing athletes to resources where these alternatives can be accessed,” said Nicole D. White and James Noeun in their article “Performance-Enhancing Drug Use in Adolescence.”
High school anabolic steroid use is a real problem. The lack of testing for these performance enhancers has created a situation where administrations have to actively raise students to be cognizant of the issue and make the correct moral decisions.