Sober 24/7: Reducing High-Risk Drinking among First-Year Students at St. John's University
Kathryn Hutchinson, Ruth DeRosa, Kimberley Soper, Department of Student Wellness
Abstract: St. John’s University proposes to reduce the high-risk drinking behaviors of first-year students through the establishment, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive high-risk drinking prevention program. The ‘Sober 24/7’ project utilizes many of the evidence-based prevention strategies outlined in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (NIAAA) 3-in-1 framework. This project will focus on early prevention strategies for first-year students beginning the summer before students arrive on campus. The combination of an online prevention program initiated during Freshman Orientation, classroom transition labs, and a strong multimedia campaign directed to students will address the first level of the NIAAA framework. Parents will be educated and engaged in prevention strategies in a consistent and informed manner to address the second level of the framework. Prevention will highlight personal liabilities, laws, negative consequences, and challenge the students’ alcohol expectancies. A unique characteristic of this program will be the use of the “Sober 24/7” social marketing campaign, completely designed and created by students at the university for their peers. This media campaign, which addresses the second and third levels of the NIAAA framework, has been well-received by both the college and surrounding community. This project will expand this campaign and evaluate it on a large scale to determine the role the campaign plays in decreasing high-risk drinking behaviors and negative consequences associated with high-risk drinking. Additional strategies applied in this proposal are efforts to engage university and community partners in a strategic alliance to create an environment that supports reduction of drinking. The overall goals of the project are to reduce high-risk drinking among first-year students by 5% and alcohol-related consequences by 10%.