Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS)
Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) is a prevention program for college students who drink alcohol heavily and have experienced or are at risk for alcohol-related problems. Following a harm reduction approach, BASICS aims to motivate students to reduce alcohol use in order to decrease the negative consequences of drinking. It is delivered over the course of two 1-hour interviews with a brief online assessment survey taken by the student after the first session. The first interview gathers information about the student's recent alcohol consumption patterns, personal beliefs about alcohol, and drinking history, while providing instructions for self-monitoring any drinking between sessions and preparing the student for the online assessment survey. Information from the online assessment survey is used to develop a customized feedback profile for use in the second interview, which compares personal alcohol use with alcohol use norms, reviews individualized negative consequences and risk factors, clarifies perceived risks and benefits of drinking, and provides options to assist in making changes to decrease or abstain from alcohol use. Based on principles of motivational interviewing, BASICS is delivered in an empathetic, nonconfrontational, and nonjudgmental manner and is aimed at revealing the discrepancy between the student's risky drinking behavior and his or her goals and values. The intervention is delivered by trained personnel proficient in motivational interviewing and may be tailored for use with young adults in settings other than colleges.