Campus-based health clinics offer an ideal setting in which to identify and intervene with
students who drink above recommended limits or who are experiencing alcohol-related problems.
Students seeking care in college health settings should be screened for at-risk alcohol use, in
the same way they are screened for other health problems. Students who screen positive for
high-risk drinking or alcohol-related problems can benefit from brief interventions delivered
by a trained professional in the clinic setting. Those who are identified as having more serious
problems, such as addiction, would benefit from a referral to a counselor and/or specialized
alcohol treatment program.
The goal of this curriculum is to help all health care professionalsphysicians, nurses,
nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, health educators, counselors,
psychologists, and others who work with college studentsidentify and treat students who are
at-risk or are having alcohol-related problems. The clinical methods presented in this curriculum
are based on science and clinical experience and have been tested and used in a variety of
settings. The protocols were specifically designed for busy high-volume practice.
The college drinking prevention curriculum for health care providers is part of a national
effort sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to reduce
high-risk drinking and alcohol-related problems among college students. The curriculum is divided
into four teaching modules. Each module is based on current evidence and research and includes
the essential information every clinician should know about the prevention and treatment of college
drinking problems. The NIAAA has developed a number of other publications for scientists and
college leaders. These publications provide a more comprehensive review of these areas. A list of
these materials is included after the table of contents.
Module 1 focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of alcohol use and alcohol problems among
college students. Module 2 reviews the screening and assessment of students in college health
settings. Module 3 presents a number of clinical protocols used for brief intervention or brief talk
therapy as well as the evidence that supports the use of these counseling methods. Module 4
focuses on development of skills in motivational interviewing, an approach used in behavioral
medicine that can enhance brief intervention.
In addition to the text and references, the curriculum contains a set of PowerPoint slides for each
module. The curriculum also contains a brief intervention workbook that clinicians may want to copy
for use with students (see Appendix A). This workbook is a step-by-step approach to conducting brief
intervention therapy. Trainers and clinicians may want to use the role-plays included in Appendix B
to practice screening, brief intervention, and motivational interviewing.