This research fulfills the NIAAA's mission to address health disparities by reducing alcohol use and improving academic outcomes in a high-risk population of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Tribal College and University (TCU) students through implementation and evaluation of a low cost screening and brief intervention (SBI). The Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS), an SBI pioneered and tested by UW investigators on this study, represents a cost effective means to reduce alcohol use. A college- level intervention for policy and systems change will also be tested aimed at: (1) instituting a harm reduction policy that supports a shift from zero tolerance alcohol policies, (2) integrating behavioral health resources for the benefit of high-risk TCU students, and, (3) ensuring TCU SBI implementation fidelity. BASICS has reduced alcohol consumption and consequences in mainstream colleges and this proposal would, using a Community- based Participatory Research approach, provide a cultural contextualization of BASICS and test this intervention for the first time in AIAN TCU students.
The specific aims are to adapt, manualize and implement a culturally contextualized version of BASICS: (a) To test whether a culturally appropriate BASICS intervention will surpass a wait list control condition by significantly reducing indices of hazardous or harmful drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences;(b) To test the effect of the intervention in significantly improving retention and academic performance among TCU students;and, (2) Implement a system-level policy intervention moving from zero-tolerance to harm reduction policies at the college-level and providing capacity to integrate services for improved referral and treatment for high risk TCU students to test whether an environmental approach will positively impact the SBI intervention and its outcomes. This study's primary hypothesis is that a culturally contextualized adaptation of SBI, as identified by the TCU/AIHEC/UW partnership, will surpass a wait list control condition in reducing hazardous or harmful drinking and alcohol- related negative consequences and improve academic outcomes, with a significantly greater effect in TCU with the policy intervention.
This innovative mixed methods study will have important public health methodological, prevention, treatment, and environmental impact, because it will a) standardize and test an SBI for high-risk AIAN TCU students;b) help isolate and target individual and policy level variables involved in the initiation, and reduction of hazardous drinking and substance abuse;and c) refine and test the methods of CBPR in TCU settings.