Norris Health Center To Offer BASICS This Fall

Norris Health Center To Offer BASICS This Fall

UWM’s Norris Health Center Office of Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW) will begin offering Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students (BASICS) to UWM students.

The program will be offered to students who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, negative consequences related to their use of alcohol. The program, formerly called ‘ACE,’ is designed to reduce harmful alcohol consumption and associated problems. The name change reflects HPW’s recent review of the ACE program and subsequent implementation of enhancements that brought an already strong harm-reduction program more closely in line with the evidence-based BASICS approach.

BASICS is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. Controlled studies have shown that BASICS, which combines cognitive behavioral skills with motivational enhancement, helps college students reduce alcohol consumption and associated negative consequences.

BASICS at UWM includes two sessions – a two-hour group session and a one-hour individual personalized feedback session with a health professional and/or trained graduate student facilitator. In the first session, information is gathered about the student’s alcohol consumption, attitudes and beliefs through reflection activities and an online survey. The personalized feedback session reviews personal risks and negative consequences, compares personal use to that of drinking norms, raises awareness of discrepancies between high risk alcohol use and goals and values, and explores a menu of options to reduce future risks associated with alcohol use.

BASICS is not designed for students who are alcohol-dependent, but can be used as part of a stepped-care approach for assessment, advice and referral to specialty care. If indicated, students are connected to additional on- or off-campus resources for additional support.

Given that high risk alcohol use is associated with less academic success, health problems, social difficulties and/or legal problems, UWM is fortunate to be able to include BASICS among its comprehensive efforts to assist students in making safer alcohol use choices.

For more information, please contact Susan Cushman, MPH, CHES, Alcohol & Other Drug Coordinator, at or 414-229-3712.