Successful Drug Education Programs Highlighted Today

Posted: April 25, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Drug Education Services, in conjunction with the Century Council, sponsors a press conference today at 10:30 a.m. to highlight George Mason’s successful alcohol prevention program, including the extensive use of the Alcohol 101 and Promising Practices: Campus Alcohol Strategies programs. The press conference, which features Rep. Tom Davis, takes place in the Johnson Center outside the Student Government offices.

Alcohol 101 is an interactive CD-ROM that uses high-end graphics, music, and virtual scenarios to help students make sensible, fact-based decisions about drinking or not drinking. When students log on to Alcohol 101, they enter a virtual party where they can make decisions for characters in social situations involving alcohol, and then see the outcomes of various decisions. The program also lets users learn about real-life campus tragedies involving alcohol misuse by participating in several multiple-choice games hosted by a talking lava lamp named “Norm.” Students can even “drink” at a virtual bar that, through a blood alcohol content (BAC) estimator, provides personalized information on the effects and BAC levels at different amounts of alcohol consumed.

Promising Practices is an information sourcebook compiled by the Center for the Advancement of Public Health in collaboration with Rutgers University’s Center for Alcohol Studies. The two university centers gathered program information from colleges and universities throughout the country and selected those that showed the most success in reducing alcohol abuse on campus.

“Educational programs like this are important,” says Davis. “By using this program, George Mason University is leading the way in providing alcohol education designed to reduce the harm associated with misuse of alcohol on their campuses.”

As other campuses across the country are experiencing problems associated with underaged drinking and alcohol abuse, Nancy Schulte, coordinator of Drug Education Services, points to the success of George Mason’s program. In the fall of 1998, of 2,461 students surveyed, only 15.5 percent reported binge drinking, and only 4 percent reported daily use of alcohol. These figures are well below those of other universities, including those in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The Century Council is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underaged drinking.

Write to at