Putting into place strategies, activities, and programs aimed at supporting student success is an outcome of strategic planning.
In order to mount a comprehensive effort, colleges and universities have been encouraged to take action in three spheres where they have influence: the institution, the surrounding community, and state-level public policy. This approach is consistent with NIAAA’s 3-in-1 Framework, which is a useful introduction to encourage presidents, administrators, college prevention specialists, students, and community members to think in a broad and comprehensive fashion about problems related to alcohol and drug use and violence. It is designed to encourage consideration simultaneously of multiple audiences on and off campus. The Task Force offers the 3-in-1 Framework as a starting point to develop effective and science-based prevention efforts for alcohol problem prevention and focuses on:
It is crucial to support strategies that assist individual students identified as problem, at-risk, or alcohol-dependent drinkers. Strategies are clearly needed to engage these students as early as possible in appropriate screening and intervention services—whether provided on campus or through referral to specialized community-based services. One important effort to increase on-campus screening is National Alcohol Screening Day, an event that takes place in April each year. This program, supported by NIAAA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides free, anonymous testing and health information at a growing number of colleges and universities.
The key to affecting the behavior of the general student population is to address the factors that encourage high-risk drinking. They include the widespread availability of alcoholic beverages to underage and intoxicated students; aggressive social and commercial promotion of alcohol; large amounts of unstructured student time; inconsistent publicity and enforcement of laws and campus policies; and student perceptions of heavy alcohol use as the norm.
When college drinking is reframed as a community as well as a college problem, campus and community leaders are more likely to come together to address it comprehensively. The joint activities that typically result help produce policy and enforcement reforms that, in turn, affect the total drinking environment. Campus and community alliances also improve relationships overall and enable key groups such as student affairs offices, residence life directors, local police, retail alcohol outlets, and the court system to work cooperatively in resolving issues involving students.