Interns eager to promote responsible drinking habits were on campus yesterday supplying beer goggles and rounds of water pong in celebration of National Alcohol Screening Day.
National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, which concludes this Friday, featured NASD as one part of their weeklong agenda to support students who abstain from drinking. In recognition of NASD, representatives from the Alcohol & Drug Program, Active Minds and Students Teaching Alcohol and Drug Responsibillity tabled in front of the Student Resource Building yesterday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. distributing questionnaires.
Counselors from the Alcohol and Drug Program were on hand to answer alcohol-related questions and analyze survey results. According to Michael Takahara, a health educator for Student Health, surveys can highlight important aspects of personal consumption habits.
“The goal of NASD is to support students who choose not to drink and to promote responsibility for those who choose to drink,” Takahara said. “Based on their [survey] score, a student, staff or faculty member can reflect on how alcohol is affecting their lives.”
With Halloween just around the corner, volunteers for NASD asked students to answer questions such as, ‘how often do you have a drink containing alcohol?’ and ‘how often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?’ For each answer marked on the survey students were allotted corresponding points. Students who scored a nine or below were deemed to be making healthy and safe choices regarding alcohol while those with higher scores were cautioned that their personal drinking habits were concerning.
Marriane Clark, a member of Active Minds, said that high scoring participants were invited to consult with a substance abuse counselor.
“There have been a lot of people with low scores and a few in the high-risk range who might need alcohol counseling, so we introduce them to one of the counselors to see if they want to make an appointment,” Clark, a fourth-year psychology major, said.
According to Dustin Pappas, a third-year environmental studies major, the survey served as a reminder for responsible drinking habits.
“It’s always good to be aware – you know – it’s always in the back of your mind,” Pappas said.
Whitney Bruse, a counselor for the Alcohol and Drug Program and one of the organizers for NASD, said the main goal of NASD was to provide safety tips and warn students of the dangers of alcohol poisoning.
“We had a good response with [NASD] in April, so we plan having them more frequently now, at least once a quarter,” Jackie Kurta, a Clinical Manager with the ADP said. “It helps the students evaluate their level of risk [of alcohol poisoning], and we provide feedback or advice, while S.T.A.R. peers talk about how to utilize safety tips.”
Students were also encouraged to take pamphlets and flyers with safety tips for the Halloween weekend including how to avoid drawing the attention of the police and methods of caring for your self and friends during the upcoming festivities.