Individual-Level Strategies

Individual-level strategies aim to produce changes in attitudes or behaviors related to alcohol use rather than the environments in which alcohol use occurs. Expected outcomes, in general, are that a strategy may decrease an individual’s alcohol use (e.g., frequency, quantity, or blood alcohol concentration) and/or alcohol-related risk-taking behaviors, thereby reducing harmful consequences. All studies used college students as the research population.

Duration of effects refers to the length of time that a strategy appears to have influenced student attitudes and behaviors related to alcohol use. Effects are short term if within 6 months and long term if 6 months or longer. Effects are mixed if research studies reached different conclusions about duration.

All individual-level strategies rated by CollegeAIM

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Lower costs $ Mid-range costs $$ Higher costs $$$
Higher effectiveness
Moderate effectiveness
Lower effectiveness
Not effective
Too few studies to rate effectiveness


Individual-level strategies delivered by health professionals—not rated by CollegeAIM

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Strategies delivered by health professionals

These interventions are important for students whose drinking patterns put them at risk for harm, or who are already experiencing alcohol-related problems. They were not rated relative to other individual-level strategies in CollegeAIM because of differences in research populations, along with wide variations in costs and barriers to providing these services across campuses. They are included in CollegeAIM based on the recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for alcohol screening for all adults aged 18 years or older, followed by brief behavioral counseling as needed, and the approval of three medications for alcohol use disorder by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.