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Models of Exemplary, Effective, and Promising Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse Prevention Programs on College Campuses

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Fiscal Year 2010 Awards

Abstracts – Recommended Applications for Funding

Funds awarded through this program will be used to identify and disseminate information about exemplary and effective alcohol or other drug abuse prevention programs implemented on college campuses. The U.S. Department of Education also will recognize colleges and universities whose programs, while not yet exemplary or effective, show evidence that they are promising. The funds also will be used by grantees to enhance and further evaluate their exemplary, effective, or promising programs.


University of Central Florida
Project Director:  Michael Dunn

The University of Central Florida (UCF) Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) prevention efforts ascribe to an integrated, comprehensive solution to address high-risk drinking and demonstrate multi-disciplinary partnerships at many levels. Its AOD prevention office (the REAL Assistance program) is responsible for developing a campus and community prevention strategy and operational plan. The office has a partnership with the Substance Use Research Group (SURG) in the psychology department. This collaboration supports “theory to practice” strategies and enables university and community partners to provide a continuum of innovative services ranging from campus-wide awareness and education to individual student access to substance use intervention services. These initiatives and services are significantly influenced by the recommendations of the NIAAA Task Force on College Drinking (2002).
Within this program context, two initiatives highlighted in this submission are recommended to be exemplary. Both of these initiatives have been in operation for at least two full years:

  1. Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC), and
  2. Feedback-Based Alcohol Interventions for Mandated Students

These initiatives include individual brief intervention/treatment strategies targeted to at-risk individuals and high-risk groups, and health protection interventions embedded in selected undergraduate academic curricula and programming targeted toward at risk student groups.  The evaluation data, based on large sample sizes, indicate that students receiving the ECALC had significant decreases in both the number of drinks they were consuming per week, and also in the number of binge drinking episodes they had over the one-month period, when compared to control groups.

These findings were true as well when implementing the program with fraternities and sororities.  Thus, these interventions have the potential to contribute to the overall theory, knowledge, and practice of evidence-based alcohol prevention efforts for college students.


University of Houston
Project Directors: Gaylyn Maurer

University of Houston (UH), a research university of approximately 34,000 students, located in an urban setting, is one of the most diverse in the nation with no clear ethnic majority, an average student age of 26, and over 90% commuter students. UH’s comprehensive prevention program is theory-driven and research-based, implementing strategies from NIAAA Task Force recommendations.

One component of the campus program, Intent and Motivation: Alcohol Group Exercise (IMAGE) has resulted in the implementation of self-protective behaviors consistently among high-risk groups (Greek-letter students, student athletes, and on-campus residents) from January 2006 to present. Additionally, the IMAGE intervention was evaluated utilizing a non-equivalent groups repeated measures quasi-experimental design with Multivariate Logistic Regression Analyses. Results indicated students who attended IMAGE (treatment group) were statistically more likely to drink fewer times per month and experience fewer negative consequences than those who did not (comparison group). Additionally, underage students who participated in IMAGE were three times more likely to consume fewer drinks per week and 1.5 times more likely to drink 0 drinks in a typical week than underage students who did not participate in IMAGE. Finally, a six-month, post-treatment assessment indicated that student alcohol frequency in the comparison group increased while frequency of the treatment group decreased, reinforcing the successes of IMAGE intervention upon student drinking.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Project Director:  Rashmi Tiwari

College fraternity and sorority students display higher rates of alcohol use and greater incidence of alcohol-related consequences than non-affiliated students.

These patterns are present at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where 40% of fraternity and sorority students report high-risk drinking (5/4 for men/women) compared to 15% of non-Greek organization affiliated students. One of the greatest predictors of developing high-risk drinking patterns, both nationally and at MIT, is residing in a sorority or fraternity house.

Because Greek houses are neither owned or subject to the active oversight by the university, AOD programming must respect the autonomy of these chapters while motivating members to address alcohol use in a responsible and lawful manner. Other aspects of programming that must be considered include dynamics such as increased access to alcohol and norms subscribing to high-risk drinking which are transmitted by elder members to new pledges.

The applicant has created a three-program model which is recognized as promising to reduce risk factors and increase use of protective factors during fraternity parties. The model includes: policies including mandatory party registration for fraternity parties, mandatory responsible beverage service (RBS) training (titled PartySafe) for 2/3 of the men in each chapter, and a Good Samaritan Policy for intoxicated students needing medical attention; enforcement of policies is accomplished through the Risk Management Consultant (RMC) program consisting of a student-run, and staff-advised group of fraternity men trained to assess parties for adherence to policies/laws and the use of RBS strategies. The model has increased the number of students trained in RBS strategies, and increased the number of students who seek or refer other students to medical care for intoxicated students. Data collected over the life of the program demonstrate that fraternity hosts completing PartySafe demonstrate changes including reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors relating to alcohol use. Use of the RMC program has increased use of protective factors by fraternity men.    


University of Missouri
Project Director:  Kim Dude

The Wellness Resource Center (WRC) at the University of Missouri has implemented comprehensive evidence-based and theory driven alcohol and other drug prevention programs for over 20 years. Their efforts have gone beyond the traditional prevention programming in an effort to create and sustain systemic change in the social, cultural, and physical environment to minimize risk factors for alcohol access and abuse at multiple levels.

During the last five years, their impact has been a 25% decrease in the binge drinking rate, a 24% decrease in underage drinking, and a 25% decrease in drinking and driving.

Their campus/community coalition, the Access to Alcohol Action Team, has empowered law enforcement, prevention professionals and community members to address underage and high-risk drinking through a comprehensive environmental management approach.  This approach with its proposed enhancements is nominated as a promising program under this initiative.

The WRC proposes to enhance their prevention efforts by empowering students to increase their role in creating an environment that encourages and supports good decision-making in regards to alcohol.  Through a bystander intervention strategy which uses a social norms approach, the WRC will encourage students to intervene effectively if they see a peer in at risk-situations.  WRC also proposes to increase publicity about enforcement efforts and the resulting consequences.


University of Nebraska
Project Director:  Ian Newman

The NU Directions Project on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus is recognized as a promising model alcohol campus prevention program. Began in 1998 as a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation “A Matter of Degree” program, NU Directions developed a campus-community coalition of 40 campus and community constituencies. Its strategic plan was based on Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools “Principles of Effectiveness” and the 3-in-1 framework of individual, school, and community as recommended in the NIAAA Task Force Report. NU Directions implemented 104 strategies including all evidence-based strategies in the NIAAA Task Force Tiers of Effectiveness applicable to the local needs assessment. Evaluation results were used to refine and revise the strategic plan continuously. Binge drinking at UNL significantly decreased from 61.4% in 1997 to 46.3% in 2009. Similar significant decreases in primary and secondary harms also were found. These decreases were linked to a change in drinking patterns of freshmen cohorts from 15% of students who abstain from using alcohol and 34% frequency binge drinkers in 1997 to 40% abstainers and 12% frequent binger drinkers in 2009.

The grant funding will be used to enhance the effectiveness of NU Directions through a facilitated cohort-based, brief motivational feedback intervention with freshmen students in learning communities and Greek chapters.  It will also include the addition of web-based programming for parents of first-year students to correct misperceptions and encourage communication about expectations for alcohol and drug use. These will be tested with randomized trials of first-year students. Dissemination will focus on publications in professional, technical, and scientific journals, producing a monograph based on NU Directions experience as a replication resource, and enhancing web resources.

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Last Modified: 08/05/2010