Years of collaboration, research, and reviews of scientific literature have brought to fruition a new resource to address harmful and underage student drinking.  Developed by the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), the CollegeAIM (Alcohol Intervention Matrix) guide and website serves as a tool to help school personnel identify the most effective strategies for alcohol intervention.

“Despite our collective efforts to address it, high-risk drinking remains a significant and persistent problem on U.S. campuses,” said George Koob, Ph.D., NIAAA director. “While college officials have numerous options for alcohol interventions, they are not all equally effective. CollegeAIM can help schools choose wisely among available strategies, boosting their chances for success and helping them improve the health and safety of their students.”

CollegeAIM provides information on nearly 60 types of evidence-based interventions, which can be compared based on anticipated costs, effectiveness, barriers to implementation and other factors.  The website provides an interactive strategy planning worksheet, FAQ’s on a variety of related topics, and additional resources. There are two matrices provided by CollegeAIM which can be used to help plan the best course of action for dealing with student drinking:

  • Environmental-level interventions target the student population as a whole and aim to change the campus and community environments in which student drinking occurs. The 36 interventions include restricting happy hours, implementing alcoholic beverage service training programs, and establishing substance-free residence halls.
  • Individual–level interventions are designed to directly affect the choices students are making. They aim to assist students identified as problem, at-risk, or alcohol-dependent drinkers, so that they will drink less and reduce the harmful consequences of drinking. There are 24 such interventions in the matrix available for comparison, including education and awareness programs, cognitive-behavioral approaches, and motivation and feedback-related strategies.

The NIAAA states that CollegeAIM relies heavily on up-to-date research so will continue to evolve with the discovery of new evidence-based research findings.  To keep it current, the guide and website will be updated about every two years.