Opinion: Youth & Alcohol

Resiliency and Risk Reduction on Campus

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends that colleges and universities adopt a three-part strategy to reduce student drinking:

1. Campus-Community Coalitions

2. Campus-Wide Alcohol Abuse Prevention Efforts

3. Individual Alcohol Prevention Programs offered to students either one-on-one, in groups or via the internet.

University of Louisville’s (U of L) Building Resiliency In Campus Community (BRICC) Coalition is coordinating the efforts for all three of these to build resilience on campus and in our community.

Resiliency is the learned ability to bounce back from life’s challenges. People who are resilient can effectively cope with stress and problem-solve life situations. Resiliency is a learned skill that is valuable for non-drinkers, moderate drinkers, and high risk drinkers.

BRICC works with campus and community partners to identify where we can help to build resiliency, and to streamline resources through BRICC workgroups.

Multiple campus units and community partners provide initiatives to prevent alcohol abuse. We work with Alcoholic Beverage Control, Athletics, City Scoot, Dean of Students, Housing and Residence Life, Morton Center, Office of Health Promotion, University Police, and Seven Counties Services, among others.

Each organization and department brings something unique to the table, working within individual silos, but together creating synergy.

BRICC’s recent efforts include:

  • Providing free access to 30 BASICS (Brief Alcohol and Screening Intervention of College Students) certifications. BASICS is listed in the National Registry of Effective Practices and acknowledged by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
  • Working with The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) to provide technical support to adapt facilitator and participant manuals that will be used in a peer-to-peer risk reduction pilot. We hope to begin recruiting students for the pilot in Fall 2013.
  • Gathering data with our BRICC partners assist in our planning process. University Police reported that we had 192 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses in the campus/community perimeter over the past year. Less than 30% of the DUIs were from students. Campus Health Services and U of L’s Counseling Center are collaborating with BRICC for Institutional Review Board-approved chart reviews related to alcohol use, and several of our members are serving on an implementation task force for AlcoholEdu, a college alcohol education program.
  • Coordinating with Seven Counties Services, Louisville Metro Police, State and Local Alcohol Beverage Control, University Police, and Louisville’s Center for Neighborhoods on the High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) initiative. HVE is an effective strategy that includes party patrols and patrols of tailgate activities by Louisville Metro Police to enforce underage drinking laws and apprehend people who are supplying alcohol to people under 21 years old.

To learn more visit BRICC at http://www.louisville.edu/bricc or www.facebook.com/bricc.coalition

Legal Drinking Age

Drinking age limits are largely a reflection of cultural influences and societal values of any given community, state, or nation. The range of differences in cultural drinking patterns is reflected in the array of rules and laws which dictate legal drinking ages around the globe. Such variations in drinking age rules and laws present certain enforcement challenges.

Alcohol & Academics: How Drinking Can Affect Academic Success

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