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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2012 Sep-Oct;44(4):318-24.

Routine use of screening and brief intervention for college students in a university counseling center.

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Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 11075 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.


This study provides preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) and ASSIST-linked brief intervention in a college mental health clinic. Data are from a single group, pre-post evaluation study (2006-2009) at a university counseling center. Students deemed to be at risk for substance use problems were offered the ASSIST and the ASSIST-linked brief intervention. Staff therapists administered the ASSIST and intervention as part of routine care; 453 students (ages 18-24) participated in the evaluation and completed baseline and six-month follow-up interviews. Changes in alcohol and marijuana use were examined by McNemar's test of proportions and by paired t-tests for means. Slight reductions in the rates and number of days (in the prior 30 days) of binge drinking and marijuana use were found. Routine screening and brief intervention procedures in a mental health setting may reduce problematic substance use among college students.

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