The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) College Task Force reports have begun to point to the framework within which behavior can be governed, modified and internalized among a subject population. See, e.g., NIAAA College Task Force Report, Proposed 3 in 1 Framework, or the Four Tiers Program. Many of these seek to integrate multi-government programs of education, control of the environment, targetted enforcement, prgrams of intervention, counseling and related support, institutionalization of objectives based outreach efforts and coordination with other programs targeting related behaviors (drug use or other activities deemed to have an antisocial component).
Tier 1: Evidence of Effectiveness Among College StudentsStrong research evidence (two or more favorable studies available) supports the strategies that follow. All strategies target individual problem, at-risk, or alcohol-dependent drinkers. Their efficacy as part of a campus-wide strategy has not been tested.Strategy: Combining cognitive-behavioral skills with norms clarification and motivational enhancement interventions. Cognitive-behavioral skills training strives to change an individual's dysfunctional beliefs and thinking about the use of alcohol through activities such as altering expectancies about alcohol's effects, documenting daily alcohol consumption, and learning to manage stress. . . .Norms or values clarification examines students' perceptions about the acceptability of abusive drinking behavior on campus and uses data to refute beliefs about the tolerance for this behavior as well as beliefs about the number of students who drink excessively and the amounts of alcohol they consume.As its name implies, motivational enhancement is designed to stimulate students' intrinsic desire or motivation to change their behavior. Motivational enhancement strategies are based on the theory that individuals alone are responsible for changing their drinking behavior and complying with that decision (Miller et al., 1992). . . .Strategy: Offering brief motivational enhancement interventions. Students who receive brief (usually 45-minute), personalized motivational enhancement sessions, whether delivered individually or in small groups, reduce alcohol consumption. This strategy can also reduce negative consequences such as excessive drinking, driving after drinking, riding with an intoxicated driver, citations for traffic violations, and injuries. . .Strategy: Challenging alcohol expectancies. This strategy works by using a combination of information and experiential learning to alter students' expectations about the effects of alcohol so they understand that drinking does not necessarily produce many of the effects they anticipate such as sociability and sexual attractiveness. . . .
Tier 2: Evidence of Success With General Populations That Could Be Applied to College EnvironmentsThe Task Force recommends that college presidents, campus alcohol program planners, and student and community leaders explore the strategies listed below because they have been successful with similar populations, although they have not yet been comprehensively evaluated with college students. . . .Strategy: Increased enforcement of minimum drinking age laws (Toomey and Wagenaar, 2002; Wagenaar and Toomey, 2002). The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) law is the most well-studied alcohol control policy. Compared to other programs aimed at youth in general, increasing the legal age for purchase and consumption of alcohol has been the most successful effort to date in reducing underage drinking and alcohol-related problems.. . . .Strategy: Implementation, increased publicity, and enforcement of other laws to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. Injury and deaths caused by alcohol-impaired driving and related injuries and deaths can be reduced by lowering legal blood alcohol limits to .08 percent for adult drivers. . . .Strategy: Restrictions on alcohol retail outlet density (Scribner et al., 1995; Gruenewald et al., 1993). Studies of the number of alcohol licenses or outlets per population size have found a relationship between the density of alcohol outlets, consumption, and related problems such as violence, other crime, and health problems. . . .Strategy: Increased prices and excise taxes on alcoholic beverages. A substantial body of research has shown that higher alcoholic beverage prices or taxes are associated with lower levels of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. . . .Strategy: Responsible beverage service policies in social and commercial settings (Saltz and Stangetta, 1997; Holder et al., 1997b). Studies suggest that bartenders, waiters, and others in the hospitality industry would welcome written policies about responsible service of alcohol and training in how to implement them appropriately. Policies could include serving alcohol in standard sizes, limiting sales of pitchers, cutting off service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons, promoting alcohol-free drinks and food, and eliminating last-call announcements.. . . .Strategy: The formation of a campus and community coalition involving all major stakeholders may be critical to implement these strategies effectively. A number of comprehensive community efforts have been designed to reduce alcohol and other substance use and related negative consequences among underaged youth, including college students, and among adults. . . .
Tier 3: Evidence of Logical and Theoretical Promise, But Require More Comprehensive EvaluationThe Task Force recognizes that a number of popular strategies and policy suggestions make sense intuitively or have strong theoretical support. Many also raise researchable questions that may be crucial in reducing the consequences of college student drinking.. . .Strategy: Adopting campus-based policies and practices that appear to be capable of reducing high-risk alcohol use. The following activities are particularly appealing because straightforward and relatively brief evaluations should indicate whether they would be successful in reducing high-risk drinking on a particular campus.
- Reinstating Friday classes and exams to reduce Thursday night partying; possibly scheduling Saturday morning classes.
- Implementing alcohol-free, expanded late-night student activities.
- Eliminating keg parties on campus where underage drinking is prevalent.
- Establishing alcohol-free dormitories.
- Employing older, salaried resident assistants or hiring adults to fulfill that role.
- Further controlling or eliminating alcohol at sports events and prohibiting tailgating parties that model heavy alcohol use.
- Refusing sponsorship gifts from the alcohol industry to avoid any perception that underage drinking is acceptable.
- Banning alcohol on campus, including at faculty and alumni events.Strategy: Increasing enforcement at campus-based events that promote excessive drinking (DeJong and Langenbahn, 1996; Gulland, 1994). Campus police can conduct random spot checks at events and parties on campus to ensure that alcohol service is monitored and that age identification is checked.. . .Strategy: Increasing publicity about and enforcement of underage drinking laws on campus and eliminating "mixed messages.". . . . Lax enforcement of State laws and local regulations on campus may send a "mixed message" to students about compliance with legally imposed drinking restrictions. Creative approaches are needed to test the feasibility of this strategy. . . .Strategy: Consistently enforcing disciplinary actions associated with policy violations (DeJong and Langford, 2002). Inconsistent enforcement of alcohol-related rules may suggest to students that "rules are made to be broken.". . . .Strategy: Conducting marketing campaigns to correct student misperceptions about alcohol use . . . . . On the basis of the premise that students overestimate the amount of drinking that occurs among their peers and then fashion their own behavior to meet this perceived norm, many schools are now actively conducting "social norming" campaigns to correct many of these misperceptions. . . .Strategy: Provision of "safe rides" programs (DeJong, 1995). Safe rides attempt to prevent drinking and driving by providing either free or low-cost transportation such as taxis or van shuttles from popular student venues or events to residence halls and other safe destinations.. ..Strategy: Regulation of happy hours and sales . . . . Happy hours and price promotions—such as two drinks for the price of one or women drink for free—are associated with higher consumption among both light and heavy drinkers. . . .Strategy: Informing new students and their parents about alcohol policies and penalties before arrival and during orientation periods. There is some anecdotal evidence that experiences during the first 6 weeks of enrollment affect subsequent success during the freshman year. Because many students begin drinking heavily during this time, they may be unable to adapt appropriately to campus life.
Tier 4: Evidence of IneffectivenessThe Task Force recognizes that it is difficult or impossible to "prove" that a specific intervention approach is universally ineffective. . . .Strategy: Informational, knowledge-based, or values clarification interventions about alcohol and the problems related to its excessive use, when used alone . . . . This strategy is based on the assumption that college students excessively use alcohol because they lack knowledge or awareness of health risks and that an increase in knowledge would lead to a decrease in use.. . . .Strategy: Providing blood alcohol content feedback to students. This strategy uses breath analysis tests to provide students accurate information on their BAC.. . . Four Tiers Program, supra.
The BASICS program consists of two one-hour sessions with a UHS staff member. During the first session, you will meet individually with a staff member and complete an on-line questionnaire. You will also be screened for alcohol abuse, depression, and anxiety. At the second session, you will discuss your questionnaire and personalized feedback with the staff member. You will receive a personalized feedback report that includes a comparison of your drinking to other Penn State students. You will explore ways to reduce future health, social, and legal risks. Additional sessions beyond the first two may be required for some students. Penn State Division of Student Affairs, University Health Services, Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS).