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 Judicial Affairs 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 sanctioned by Penn State’s Judicial Affairs and Residence Life or by a district magistrate are required to pay a $200 fee. You may pay with cash, a check, credit card, or charge it to your student account. You will need to pay for BASICS at your first session.
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, if a student indicates that s/he may harm him/herself or others, information may be disclosed as appropriate. Mandated students will be asked to sign a release of information form that will allow BASICS staff to verify completion.
An Evidence-Based Program
Penn State’s BASICS program is based on a program created by Dr. Alan Marlatt (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.