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CHOICES: An Innovative Approach to Alcohol Education Daniel F. O’Neill, Psy.D. Linda L. McDowell, Ph.D. Millersville University Freshman Year Experience.

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Presentation on theme: "CHOICES: An Innovative Approach to Alcohol Education Daniel F. O’Neill, Psy.D. Linda L. McDowell, Ph.D. Millersville University Freshman Year Experience."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHOICES: An Innovative Approach to Alcohol Education Daniel F. O’Neill, Psy.D. Linda L. McDowell, Ph.D. Millersville University Freshman Year Experience National Conference February 9, 2009 Orlando, Florida

2 CALL TO ACTION A Call to Action, 2002 NIAAA What Colleges Need to Know Now: Update on College Drinking, 2008 NIAAA Millersville University Task Force on Alcohol, 1999

3 THE All-TOO-FAMILIAR BAD NEWS 1700 alcohol related unintentional injury student deaths ages 18-24 in 2001 (6% increase from 1998) 500,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2002). 696,000 students 18-24 assaulted by another student who has been drinking 97,000 students 18-24 victims of alcohol related sexual assault or date rape  (Hingson et al 2005)

4 Millersville University 8,300 students Founded 1855 One of 14 state owned PA State System of Higher Education 79% full time undergraduates 56% of undergrads are women Most students from PA or contiguous states 32% residential students

5 Millersville University American College Health Assessment (2007) 21.9% students did not use alcohol in past year 36.5% students did not use alcohol in past 30 days 59.9% drink 4 or less when they partied or socialized 85% use designated drivers 84.7% ate before or during drinking occasion 14.1% used marijuana in last month (727 randomly selected respondents to self-report online survey)

6 Prevention Efforts Prevention Programming Wellness Center Peer Educators Alcohol Screening @ Counseling Center Late Night Activities through Student Program Office E-chug Stall Talk Facebook “flyers” CHOICES for students who violated the Alcohol Policy

7 CHOICES: Background Marlatt & Parks (2005) University of Washington Alcohol Skills Training Program BASICS Published by The Change Companies

8 CHOICES Facilitated Discussion Non Judgmental Harm Reduction NOT Abstinence Based Motivational Interviewing (Miller) Four sections Reflections on personal relationship with alcohol Facts Risk Strategies

9 es/prevention/choices/journal/index.html es/prevention/choices/journal/index.html

10 Orientation Program 2007 Fall Orientation Program First formal Orientation activity for students Faculty and Staff facilitators Orientation Groups 25students Orientation Leader (upperclassman) 90 minute groups ~$5000 cost for all first year students Grant Supported Funding: PA. Liquor Control Board

11 RECRUITING FACULTY & STAFF Appeal across the University Letter to potential facilitators Follow up phone calls Diverse voices: More than “the choir” (e.g.. Football Coach, Priest, Head of Admissions…)

12 FACULTY TRAINING Pilot Program Training George Parks, Ph.D. Follow up small group training Second Year Training Small group training for new facilitators Veteran “brush ups”

13 Background information: defining the problem Careful review of journal Tips for running an effective group How to involve the Orientation Leader Encouraging discussion Preventing student “war stories” Keeping track of time Training Guidelines

14 STUDENT TRAINING Orientation Leaders CHOICES group Expectations—encouraging participation Working with a facilitator Appropriate “sharing” of college experience

15 Packets for First Year Students Interactive Journal BAC cards Alcohol Poisoning Information MU Alcohol Brochure Pens Pre-Test and Post-Test

16 Assessment Student Satisfaction Survey Pre/Post test data Faculty/Staff feedback

17 Student Evaluation “ The Choices program was helpful.” 2007 o Strongly Agree 9.82% o Agree 49.65% o Did not attend 7.47% o Disagree 23.65% o Strongly Disagree 9.41%

18 Student evaluation: “ The Choices Program was helpful.” 2008 Strongly Agree24.19% Agree35.40% Neutral25.58% Disagree 9.95% Strongly Disagree 6.46%



21 I thnk it’s important to have A plan in mind to limit my drinking before I go to a Party Strongly Agree: 52.20% Agree: 39.96% Disagree: 6.27% Strongly Disagree: 0.39% SA66.99% A26.93% D 2.56% SD 0.20%

22 Question 9: If a friend passes out… SA62.68% A28.31% D 5.78% DS1.86% SA77.38% A14.69% D 1.57% DS 2.84%

23 Facilitator Feedback “In the end, I asked them if they had learned anything new. They said that a lot of the CHOICES material was covered in high school classes, but they did learn: how to recognize alcohol poisoning how quickly alcohol gets in the bloodstream how long it takes to leave the 24/7 Safe Haven rule at Health Services”

24 FACILITATOR FEEDBACK Well I survived! It was a great experience. My first group was barely awake and except for 3 were very reluctant to talk. My second group was much different. They were very outgoing and a little too honest for comfort! Their Orientation Leader was probably more involved that she should have been but it was very helpful.

25 FACILITATOR FEEDBACK I wish I had a better feeling about my performance yesterday. The second session was a bit better than the first. About half the group showed up late to the first session. In both groups but especially the first, only 2 or 3 where slightly vocal. Some would have rather died then lift the pencil or read the booklet. Tough crowd. I wish I had observed a group or been able to co-facilitate with another staff person. I don’t think everyone showed up to Choices. In the second group one of the freshmen was a member of my Brownie troop several years ago. I don’t think that was a problem for her but I can’t be sure.

26 IMPACT Common Language Over four years all students will have participated in a CHOICES group Strong foundation for follow-up prevention efforts Consistency in both prevention and intervention efforts: CHOICES…..BASICS

27 GOALS FOR THE FUTURE Expand faculty participation Reduce group size Involve Orientation Leaders more effectively Expand Assessment to include follow up Connect CHOICES and ACHA

28 Lessons Learned Program Integrity Orientation Leader expectations/training # of Facilitators Timing Late Attrition Assessment


30 Contact Information Daniel O’Neill 717.872.3127 Linda McDowell 717.871.2388

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