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Home » News & Events » NIAAA Newsletter » Newsletter 25

NIAAA Newsletter

Preview of the NIAAA College Drinking Intervention Decision Tool

On July 9, 2012, Dr. Vivian Faden, director of the Office of Science Policy and Communications and associate director of Behavioral Research at NIAAA, spoke during the National College Health Improvement Projects’ (NCHIP) third meeting in Washington, D.C. NCHIP, a national collaborative that works to improve student health, launched an initiative on high-risk college drinking prevention in 2011. 

During her talk, Dr. Faden presented a sneak preview of NIAAA’s College Drinking Intervention Decision Tool. The Decision Tool is being developed as part of NIAAA’s College Presidents Working Group Initiative. According to Dr. Faden, the presidents had asked for a matrix to help them navigate “the many available interventions when making decisions about what to implement on their respective campuses.” In response, NIAAA commissioned experts in the field to begin an intensive research effort. The researchers presented their preliminary outline during a Presidents Working Group videoconference earlier this year. The first draft of the matrix information is complete; expert review of the content is underway. According to Dr. Faden, NIAAA is developing a wrap-around product and a searchable tool for the matrix that will be available on NIAAA’s Web site.

The matrix currently includes about 60 strategies in 7 categories covering both environmental and individual intervention approaches. The strategies use evidence-based theories and practical applications of policies that have been successful in previous interventions. The strategies include campus strategies, Federal, State, and local laws; education/awareness programs; cognitive–behavioral skills-based approaches; motivational/feedback-based approaches; and approaches for those needing intensive treatment and medication.

Dr. Faden said she expects the matrix will become an important tool for “comparing different strategies and selecting the evidence-based strategies that are optimal for a particular campus and community given their unique needs and resources.” She went on to state, “We want to improve the likelihood of success by increasing the use of research in informing college drinking interventions.”

The matrix is expected to be released in 2013.

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