A new study from The University of Texas School of Public Health has found that brief and personal intervention can significantly reduce drinking among risky college drinkers.
The researchers found that motivational interviewing with feedback (MIF) significantly reduced drinking among a group of heavy-drinking college students.
The MIF intervention includes a personalized feedback profile and a 45-minute counseling session.
The feedback profile developed by e-CHUG provides students with information to help motivate them to decrease their alcohol consumption. Information such as caloric intake, comparisons to other students on campus, income spent on alcohol, negative consequences of alcohol use and local referral information are provided in the feedback report.
Lead researcher Scott Walters, associate professor believes using commercially available tools such as e-CHUG is a step universities can take toward reducing binge drinking on their campuses.
"This is a big part of the solution, especially for students who are most at risk," said Walters.
In the study, forty percent of students reported heavy episodes of binge drinking in the past two weeks.
Walters believes college students are more motivated to drink because of social pressures, the desire to try new adult roles and a misperception of drinking norms on campus.
This pattern of binge drinking makes alcohol consumption riskier and causes problems such as lower grade point averages, vandalism and an increase in violent behavior, including rape.
An important part of the intervention involved a discussion of campus norms around alcohol.
"College students tend to misperceive the drinking norms on campus, thinking that other students drink more than they actually do, and are more permissive of drinking and drunkenness than they actually are," he added.
The study is published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.