College alcohol and drug use

  • Randall Starling
  • Matthew Pearson

    The Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) was established by CASAA in 1992 to help create a campus environment free from the negative consequences of alcohol and other drug abuse, and one which provides for student success and well-being. To achieve this vision, COSAP develops and conducts a variety of evidence-based prevention programs, engages in policy development, collaborates with a range of UNM departments on prevention initiatives, and, with a staff of student employees works to develop a relationship of trust with our college student population. The program philosophy can be describes as one of harm-reduction, as evidenced by our promise to students for "No Lectures, No Hype, Just the Facts," a phrase found on nearly all of our communications to students. COSAP uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods to both inform program development and measure results. In addition to its work at UNM's main and branch campuses, COSAP also leads the New Mexico Higher Education Prevention Consortium which supports the development of effective AOD prevention programs at two and four year colleges and universities throughout the state of New Mexico.

    In addition to program activities addressed to the college population, CASAA investigators conduct research related to college student drinking. The eCHUG (Alcohol e-Checkup to go), an alcohol screening tool designed for college students, was developed and tested at UNM. Dr. Woodall's research team also has developed and tested a web-based program to decrease heavy drinking among college students.