Division of Student Affairs > Support Services > Health & Wellness > Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention

Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention

Alcohol is the number one drug that college students experiment with, and to combat the negative consequences that often come with this kind of experimentation, DePaul University educates students about moderation and harm reduction. 

Survey results show that most DePaul students drink moderately and very few use illegal drugs. Unfortunately, stereotypes of binge drinking, "party animals" and heavy drug use abound, and these stereotypes promote risky behavior among some students.

The Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, in collaboration with colleagues across campus, conducts outreach and programming on campus that aims to help students make healthy and responsible substance use choices, while avoiding harm to self and others.  The specialist's work promotes more moderate, realistic images of students' behaviors; teaches about harm reduction; and collaborates with community stakeholders to connect students to additional resources. Interventions and programming include:

BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students)

BASICS is provided to any student on an individual basis, and sometimes BASICS is mandated for students who have violated the alcohol and/or drug policies of the Code of Student Responsibility​. BASICS is an effective intervention for helping students reduce risky drinking behaviors and typically involves two, one-hour long individual sessions. Occasionally, students will participate in additional sessions depending upon the circumstances and their needs.

Safety and the Law

Presentations and Events

A variety of programs focusing upon health promotion and harm reduction are offered and tailored to the needs of the students in attendance. Campus groups that most often engage in such programming include (but aren't limited to)

  • Fraternities
  • Sororities
  • Student Health Advocates
  • STARS Mentors
  • The Premiere and Transition DePaul Orientation Leaders (and incoming students attending Premier DePaul),
  • Residential Advisors and residential students
  • The Chicago Quarter Mentors.

The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist is also available to provide education about alcohol and other drugs in the classroom at an instructor's request. Initiatives such as Alcohol Awareness Days strive to reach the student body as a whole, with programs providing direct education about harm reduction or programs that simply raise awareness of the impact of alcohol and drugs on the DePaul community.

Referrals and Consultation

The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist provides students, faculty, staff and families with information about alcohol and drug use, as well as referrals for treatment and support both on- and off-campus. Students who are concerned about their or someone else's use of substances will not get into trouble for seeking information or help.


  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse Action Helpline : 1.800.662.4357
  • AlcoholScreening.org helps individuals assess their own alcohol consumption patterns to determine if their drinking is likely to be harming their health or increasing their risk for future harm. Through education and referral, the site urges those whose drinking is harmful or hazardous to take positive action, and informs all adults who consume alcohol about guidelines and caveats for lower-risk drinking.
  • www.drugfree.org is part of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, with a lot of information about drugs, treatment and online screenings.
  • www.drugabuse.gov is the website of The National Institute on Drug Abuse. The site includes the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future data (2005) and basic information on the extent of use, health effects and treatment options.
  • 21st Century Drug Policy is the website of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Includes health effects, treatment, legal ramifications and other resources.
  • www.ncpic.org.au is the website of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre. Provides a great deal of information about marijuana.
  • The American Legacy Foundation is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. The Foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use.
  • The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.
  • BeTobaccoFree.gov A comprehensive website providing one-stop access to the best and most up-to-date, tobacco-related information from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Includes general information on tobacco, federal and state laws and policies, health statistics, and evidence-based methods on how to quit.
  • EX: Re-Learn Life Without Cigarettes A comprehensive tobacco cessation plan created by the American Legacy Foundation and the Mayo Clinic.
  • For anyone interested in reading DePaul University's most recent biennial review, please email the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness.

Contact the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness to speak with the Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist.​