Campus and Community Coalitions in AOD Prevention. Prevention UpdatesReport as inadecuate

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Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention

Changing the environment that affects decisions about use of alcohol and other drugs has emerged as a key to reducing substance use problems among college and university students. The student environment, however, is not limited to the campus. Education, counseling, and campus-based prevention policies and activities cannot succeed if a campus is surrounded by a community offering students easy access to alcohol and other drugs and tolerating conditions that encourage underage and high-risk substance use. Campus and community coalitions based on principles of environmental management are the answer. Aspects of the campus and community environment that influence student drinking include the overconcentration of alcohol outlets in neighborhoods adjacent to the campus, aggressive marketing of alcohol to the student population, and lax or spotty enforcement of laws governing sale and consumption of alcohol and driving under the influence. In addition, advertising messages originating off campus may feed a perception that high-risk drinking is a normal part of college life, and the community frequently offers too few social and recreational opportunities that do not depend on alcohol availability for their appeal. Campus and community coalitions constitute the best way to plan and carry out prevention strategies that lead to sustainable change in these areas of student life. (Contains 18 online resources.)

Descriptors: Drinking, Drug Use, College Students, Colleges, School Community Relationship, Prevention, Communication (Thought Transfer), School Community Programs, State Government, Government School Relationship

Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention. EDC, Inc. 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453. Tel: 800-676-1730; Fax: 617-928-1537; e-mail: HigherEdCtr[at]; Web site:

Author: Zimmerman, Robert


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