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Alcohol and Other Drugs

Our Approach

Alcohol and drug use has been shown to impact the health issues that CU students report impair their academic performance most frequently.  These health issues include stress, sleep, anxiety, depression, relationships, and colds and flu.

In addressing alcohol and drug use, Community Health focuses on ways to reduce the harmful outcomes of substance use on academics and personal life.  We do so by teaching information and skills about ways that students can be effective bystanders when potentially harmful situations arise.

Click here to view our campaigns.

Public Health Perspective

Alcohol consumption occurs along a spectrum from abstinence to dependence.

Frequently, education about alcohol use focuses on people who drink heavily or are habitual users.  It is important to provide appropriate information, support, and resources to people along the spectrum of alcohol use.

Clearly, there are some risks associated with drinking alcohol (short-term health problems, long-term dependency, traumatic experiences, and legal consequences).  Abstinence is the best way to eliminate these risks.  However, following a harm reduction approach, any step to reduce alcohol consumption and its related risks is meaningful.

Scientific Evidence Tells Us

The majority of college students choose to drink moderately or not at all.  Research has shown that challenging what people expect to experience from alcohol consumption reduces alcohol use.   Among traditional aged college students, the following strategies have been found to be effective at reducing alcohol consumption and its associated negative consequences:

  • Providing cognitive-behavioral skills that are combined with norms clarification and motivational enhancement interventions;
  • Offering brief motivational enhancement interventions (ie. BASICS program).

More studies are needed to determine the efficacy of social norms campaigns in lowering students’ perceptions of their peers’ alcohol use as well as their positive expectations about drinking.


Wardenburg Health Center, Psychological Health and Psychiatry

Counseling and Psychological Services: Alcohol and Other Drugs

Oasis: a CU student group

College Drinking—Changing the Culture

Community Health is a proud member of the Coalition of Colorado Campus Alochol & Drug Educators