Motivational method cuts binge drinking among college students


Washington : Motivational interviewing with feedback (MIF) significantly reduces binge drinking among risky college drinkers, according to a new study.

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Scott Walters, associate professor at the University of Texas (UT) School of Public Health, Dallas, led the study on an intervention designed to reduce college binge drinking.

The MIF intervention includes a personalised feedback profile and a 45-minute counselling session. The feedback profile, produced by e-CHUG, a commercially available tool, provides students with information to help motivate them to decrease their alcohol consumption.

Information such as caloric intake, comparisons with campus counterparts, income spent on alcohol, negative consequences of alcohol use and local referral information are provided in the feedback report.

Walters believes using commercially available tools such as e-CHUG is a step universities can take toward reducing binge drinking on their campuses.

“This is a big part of the solution, especially for students who are most at risk,” said Walters.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) notes that there are 1,700 alcohol-related deaths a year among college students.

NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern that brings a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. To reach this BAC, men must consume five or more drinks and women must consume four or more drinks in about two hours, said a UT release.

According to Walters, the binge drinking pattern for college students is typically to not drink during the week and consume numerous drinks at once on the weekend.

The results will be published in the February issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.