Students screened for potential “risky” drinking behavior
Sarah Michaud, director of the Drug & Alcohol Resource Center, conducts an alcohol screening with junior finance major Kevin Ruys in the Student Center Theater, April 1. Every April, the DARC hosts a variety of programs as part of Alcohol Awareness Month.
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
Movies, TV shows, and other forms of media have made college drinking seem like something of no concern.
Students might think that their drinking habits are average drinking habits for a college student. Unknowingly, they could be demonstrating risky drinking behaviors.
To learn if their drinking habits are risky, students were able to attend an Alcohol Screening on April 1. The event was sponsored by SCSU’s Drug and Alcohol Resource Center.
Ali Kaplan, a student worker in the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center, explains exactly what an Alcohol Screening is.
“An alcohol screening consists of a survey students complete. It takes about five minutes to complete. The survey asks questions about the student’s drinking habits. Then the student is given a score.” says Kaplan.
The test source ranges how risky the student’s drinking habits are so they can be properly assessed.
“After the tests are scored, the student is given a paper with their score on it, and they go into the theater to meet with a counselor to discuss their results,” said Kaplan.
The Alcohol Screening Day event happens on campus, every year in the spring. The event is to help promote and kick off Alcohol Awareness Month, which is the month on April.
Kaplan said, “We really tried to heavily promote this event. I made small posters and put them on the tables in the student center. Our posters were up in all academic buildings as well as all of the virtual poster boards.”
Kaplan said he believes the event is helpful to everyone, including students who do not drink. “When you meet with the counselors, you can talk about anything, even if you don’t drink. You could talk about a friend or maybe a parents. It does not matter,” he said.
“It is college, so a lot of the time, students do not even think or know they have a problem with their drinking habits.” said Kaplan.
Sarah Michaud, the Director of the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center, said she supports events like alcohol screenings.
“This is our eighth year doing this event. It is to raise awareness around drinking, especially for students who have risky drinking patterns. But, also, it is a chance for students to learn about the services that are available to them on Southern campus,” said Michaud.
Alcohol Screening Days are really successful for the DARC because many students participate every year.
“Students are very open with us. They want to talk. This is a great event because it is not a threatening situation and they can talk about whatever they want, without feeling uncomfortable,” said Michaud.
Michaud asks students about potential risk factors in their lives, like parents with drinking problems.
Michaud said, “It is an opportunity to see the patterns before they become a problem, then we can connect student with the right resources for their situation.”
Alcohol Screening Day is the first event in a series of events for Alcohol Awareness month. The next event is a film screening and discussion panel for a documentary called Anonymous People, which will be held on April 8.
The Drug and Alcohol Resource Center will also be sponsoring, in partnership with the police station, their annual Alcohol Awareness Carnival at the end of the month.
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas