National Alcohol Screening Day at Kent State University

Have a concern about drinking and alcohol-related issues? Interested in participating in an alcohol screening experience on campus? If so, it’s important to note that every spring for the past 12 years, National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) has been held in the Kent Student Center around the first week in April.

NASD is a free public health event that provides anonymous screening for alcohol-use disorders. One of the goals behind this outreach promotional effort is to reduce and prevent at-risk drinking. Can faculty and staff participate? Yes! Although the advertisement for this event has been traditionally geared toward students, the screening activity is open to campus and community members.

On April 4, 2013, University Health Services – Office of Health Promotion will co-sponsor NASD with several departments and student organizations, and, it will take place once again in the Kent Student Center (2nd floor) from 10a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you are wondering how the screening process works and if it’s time consuming, please read on. The screening form, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), asks participants about their drinking habits and if their behaviors have changed due to their drinking. Once the screening form is scored, participants have the opportunity to discuss the results with a mental health professional or graduate student in the counseling program. If appropriate, participants receive referral information regarding support and/or treatment services both on campus and in the community. The entire screening process only takes about 20 minutes for each participant.

After NASD participants are screened, they receive a resource bag courtesy of University Health Services. A wealth of educational materials on alcohol issues will be in the bags along with various promotional items. Enclosed resource materials include, but are not limited to: When to seek help for a friend, The Cultural Myth: Is More Alcohol Better?, Worried About a Friend or Family Member, Blood Alcohol Level-Let’s Put It All on the Table, Tips For Cutting Down on Drinking, Social Hosting and Alcohol Poisoning. Free food and beverages will also be available from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for participants.

If you do not want to participate in the screening day, but have interest in promoting the event on campus, please download the attached NASD Flyer 2013 and consider posting it in a prominent location in one of the academic or student services buildings.

If you are a faculty member and have interest in offering extra credit to your students for attending this screening event, I can provide proof of attendance for your students. Please contact me at sdottere@kent.edu or 672-8266 to confirm that you are offering extra credit for a specific class. In doing so, students in your class who participate in the screening will be asked to sign an attendance sheet that has your name and course of instruction listed. The attendance sheet will be mailed to you the next day.

Having been directly involved in NASD on campus for a number of years, I feel this screening event has been very valuable to a number of the participants. I’ve also had some students (non-drinkers) tell me the experience of completing the AUDIT form and discussing alcohol-related issues with the screener was very educational and thought-provoking.

In closing, I believe this event is an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and staff to talk about alcohol issues and concerns.

For more information about the NASD event on campus, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

For information about the national organization, Screening for Mental Health, Inc., be sure to visit their website at www.MentalHealthScreening.org. The College Response-National Alcohol Screening Day Kit was made available by this organization for institutions interested and committed to comprehensive alcohol prevention programming.