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What is Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS)?


BASICS is a Brief Motivational Intervention (BMI) developed at the University of Washington by a team of researchers and clinicians led by G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D. This selective or indicated alcohol abuse prevention program is for college students or other young adults who drink alcohol in a hazardous way and have experienced or are at risk for alcohol-related problems. Following a harm reduction approach, BASICS aims to motivate make changes in their quantity and frequency of drinking in order to decrease the negative consequences of alcohol they and those around them experience. 


BASICS is composed of two 1-hour semi-structured interviews with a brief online assessment survey taken by the client after the first session. The first interview gathers information about the client’s alcohol and drug use history, recent alcohol consumption patterns, and personal beliefs about alcohol as well as providing instructions for self-monitoring of any drinking between sessions and preparing the individual for the online assessment survey. Information from the online assessment survey is used to develop a Personalized Feedback Report for use in the second interview, which compares personal alcohol use with alcohol use norms, reviews individualized risks factors and negative consequences, clarifies perceived risks and benefits of drinking, and provides options to assist the client in making changes to moderate their drinking or abstain from alcohol use.

Delivered using Motivational Interviewing, BASICS offers clients an empathetic, non-confrontational, and non-judgmental alcohol screening and brief motivational intervention. It is aimed at revealing the discrepancy between the individual’s risky drinking behavior and his or her goals and values. This discrepancy when processed with acceptance and caring by the BASICS facilitator motivates behavior change toward greater safety, health and success.

What products and services are needed to implement BASICS? 

The BASICS Toolkit 

  •    BASICS Program Manual 

  •    BASICS Facilitator Guide

  •    BASICS Assessment and Feedback Application 

  •    BASICS Delivery Tools 

  •    BASICS Practitioner Training Workshop

  •    BASICS Practitioner Training Workshop Curriculum


What training is needed to implement BASICS?

The standard BASICS Practitioner Training Workshop consisting of 2 days of instruction has been developed by George A. Parks, Ph.D. It results in staff receiving a Certified BASICS Practitioner credential.  This training is tailored to the specific BASICS Assessment and Feedback Tool adopted by the site. The training is also supported by having staff read a therapist manual that describes how BASICS was delivered in the research trial - BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Interventions for College Students) by Linda Dimeff, John S. Baer, Daniel R. Kivalahan and G. Alan Marlatt, 1999, Guildford Press: New York. This general reference book is supplemented by a BASICS Facilitator Guide created by George A. Parks, Ph.D. that serves as a therapist manual describing specifically how to deliver BASICS at a particular site step-by-step. A BASICS Train-the-Trainer workshop and a license to use BASICS training curriculum are also available. All trainings are available on site or by videoconference.


BASICS Implementation Resources:

Below are links to a variety of articles and information sheets concerning BASICS implementation. Many questions and concerns about implementing BASICS are answered in these documents.

Contact George A. Parks, Ph. D. at 206-930-1949 for a quote or more information about implementing BASICS

What is CHOICES About Alcohol? 


CHOICES About Alcohol is a delivery modality of the Alcohol Skills Training Program which is in Tier 1 of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) lists that include programs demonstrated to be effective for college alcohol abuse prevention. The program was created in conjunction with The Change Companies®. Their Interactive Journaling delivery method is listed on NREPP (National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices). This Selective Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program can be delivered to groups of at-risk students in residence halls, athletic teams, recreational sports clubs, fraternities and sororities, first offender student code violators, etc.

The Change Companies® is committed to the delivery of evidence-based products and services in a cost-effective and flexible manner. They collaborate with leading researchers, innovative program managers, and hundreds of service providers to stay on the cutting edge of change research and application models.

How effective is CHOICES About Alcohol?

A recent study conducted at Georgia State University found that "Students consider CHOICES an effective alcohol abuse prevention program. 60.7% of students reported that they would “definitely” change some aspect of their alcohol-related behavior as a result of the CHOICES Program. These results indicate that the majority of students are likely to modify their behavior as a result of CHOICES. Students who participate in CHOICES leave the program with increased knowledge, a change in attitude towards excessive drinking, and are motivated to make safer choices related to drinking." 

Johnson, Ethan, "An Outcome Evaluation of CHOICES: A Brief Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program at Georgia State University." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2014.

CHOICES About Alcohol Implementation Resources:

Below are links to a variety of articles and information sheets concerning CHOICES About Alcohol implementation. Many questions and concerns about implementing CHOICES About Alcohol are answered in these documents.


How can I order CHOICES About Alcohol?


Contact The Change Companies® for information or to purchase CHOICES About Alcohol at 1-888-889-8866. 

Or visit their CHOICES About Alcohol page at

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