BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention of College Students)

BASICS is Effective

To make an appointment, call Counseling at 802-443-5141

BASICS is a confidential alcohol assessment developed specifically for college students. Its purpose is to assist students in assessing the relationship of their drinking to their academic and personal life goals. Each student will gain an understanding of where their own alcohol consumption fits on the continuum of drinking – from drinking that causes no problems to drinking that causes significant problems. BASICS has a harm reduction philosophy (i.e., having the purpose of reducing harm rather than telling students not to drink) and is neither judgmental nor confrontational. The decision about whether and how to use the information from BASICS is up to the student.

BASICS includes 1 – 2 meetings with a counselor or nurse and an online self-report questionnaire. Information is gathered about the student’s alcohol consumption pattern, personal beliefs about alcohol, perception of social alcohol norms on campus, and family history. The student receives a personalized feedback report that they review with the nurse/counselor, including information about how to reduce future risks associated with their alcohol use as well as local resources for assistance.

Some students may be required by a dean or coach to complete BASICS. Since BASICS is completely confidential, only with the student’s permission may a dean or coach be informed that the student completed the assessment. No specific information in the assessment will ever be shared.

Because of its demonstrated effectiveness, BASICS has been identified as a Model Program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was developed with the support of research grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to Dr. G. Alan Marlatt at the University of Washington.  

For more about BASICS, see Linda Dimeff et al. Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS): A Harm Reduction Approach. NY: Guilford, 1999.


·         Adapted from BASICS -- Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention of College Students. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of  Health and Human Services.

·         Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.


Alcohol resources:


Health Services
Centeno House
1st & 2nd Floor
Phone: 802.443.5135
Fax: 802.443.2066

Centeno House
3rd Floor
Phone: 802.443.5141
Fax: 802.443.3407

Sports Medicine
Field House
Phone: 802-443-2315
Fax:  802-443-2094