Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS)
Effective Fall 2010, Penn State students who have a first-time alcohol violation on- or off-campus or an alcohol-related visit to the emergency department at Mt. Nittany Medical Center are required to complete the BASICS program administered by UHS.
About the BASICS Program
The BASICS program uses a harm reduction approach and is designed to:
- Promote a non-judgmental environment to help you explore your alcohol use
- Reduce risky behavior and harmful consequences of alcohol abuse
- Identify changes that could help you reduce your risk
- Provide important information and skills for risk reduction
Students who have an alcohol policy/legal violation on or off campus, or have an alcohol-related visit to the emergency department at Mt. Nittany Medical Center are required to take BASICS. These students are mandated by Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct or Residence Life. Students may also be referred by a county or district magistrate.
Students who self-refer to the program will not be charged a fee. Students who have been mandated to the program are not eligible for the self-referral option.
The BASICS program consists of two one-hour sessions with a UHS staff member. During the first session, you will meet individually with a staff member and complete an on-line questionnaire. You will also be screened for alcohol abuse, depression, and anxiety. At the second session, you will discuss your questionnaire and personalized feedback with the staff member. You will receive a personalized feedback report that includes a comparison of your drinking to other Penn State students. You will explore ways to reduce future health, social, and legal risks. Additional sessions beyond the first two may be required for some students.
Students who are required to complete the program, as described above, will also be required to pay a $200 fee. You may pay with cash, a check, credit card, or charge it to your student account. Students will need to pay for BASICS at the first session.
Students who are required to complete the program Students who self-refer to the program will not be charged a fee. Students who have been mandated to the program are not eligible for the self-referral option. Effective January 2, 2013, students who are mandated must cancel or reschedule an appointment at least 24 hours before the scheduled appointment time to avoid a $75.00 fee automatically being applied to your student account. A $75.00 fee will be automatically applied to your account for missed appointments.
BASICS is located in Health Promotion and Wellness, 201 Student Health Center.
The information you share during the BASICS sessions is confidential; however, we will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law. We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent that threat. Mandated students will be asked to acknowledge a release of information statement that will allow BASICS staff to verify completion with the appropriate Penn State offices.
An Evidence-Based Program
Penn State’s BASICS program is based on a program created by Dr. Alan Marlatt (Former Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center and Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington). The BASICS program is one of the most effective alcohol education interventions with college students. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) has recognized BASICS as an evidence-based model program.
If you have questions about these programs or about the use of alcohol or marijuana, you may also call HPW at 814.863.0461 or contact them by e-mail.