College Program Effective at Reducing Binge Drinking

Several University of Texas at El Paso students once identified as being at risk of becoming binge drinkers have overcome the danger with the help of the university’s Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) program. 

Program officials released preliminary results of the effectiveness of the intervention program. BASICS encourages moderation in drinking and teaches safety skills to college-aged drinkers. 

About 130 participants who were identified as at-risk for binge drinking recently completed a six-month follow up. Of those students, 67 percent no longer fall in the at-risk category and 50 percent are showing a decline in risk compared to their pre-intervention levels. 

Launched in January 2006, the BASICS program uses a screening process to identify at-risk students and a motivational interviewing approach to educate them about the dangers of binge drinking.  

“We believe that our project can become a model for the way that college campuses provide intervention services for risky alcohol use, both nationally and among campuses with high Hispanic enrollment,” said
Joe Tomaka, Ph.D., program director and UTEP health promotion professor.
 

The program is supported by a $1.4 million, three-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

From a press release at the University of Texas at El Paso

 

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