Health Services to hold free alcohol screening today

Amanda Hayes

University Health Services Office of Health Promotion will host National Alcohol Screening Day today. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the second-floor lobby of the Student Center and is free to students.

Scott Dotterer, coordinator for the Office of Health Promotion, said this is the eighth year University Health Services has sponsored the NASD event. He said the national public health event is an attempt to reach students to reduce and prevent dangerous drinking habits on college campuses.

Although most students drink responsibly, Dotterer said, excessive drinking can have serious negative consequences and is a concern for colleges nationwide. National organizations agree, and the event is being co-sponsored by Coca-Cola and the American Medical Student Association, along with local groups Townhall II and the Kent State gospel choir.

Students wishing to participate in the screening will be asked to fill out a form that tests for disordered alcohol use. Dotterer said the form will ask students about their drinking habits and behavioral changes due to drinking. Once the form has been scored, students will be able to talk about their results with mental health professionals or University Health Services clinicians, he said.

Students in need of treatment or support can receive referral information on services offered both on- and off-campus, Dotterer said. The entire testing and discussion process would take about 15 minutes.

Participants will each receive a resource bag including alcohol information materials, pens, snacks and a gift card for a free PULP smoothie while supplies last. Refreshments including pizza and soft drinks will also be available from noon to 3 p.m.

&mdash Amanda Hayes