BASICS - Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students

The BASICS program uses a harm reduction approach and is designed to:

  • Promote a non-judgmental environment to help you explore your alcohol use
  • Reduce risky behavior and harmful consequences of alcohol abuse
  • Identify changes that could help you reduce your risk
  • Provide important information and skills for risk reduction
  • Students who have an alcohol policy/legal violation on or off campus, or have an alcohol-related visit to the emergency department (at a local hospital) are required to take BASICS. These students are mandated by Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct or Residence Life. Students may also be referred by a county or district magistrate.

Time Commitment
The BASICS program consists of two 30 minute sessions with the Coordinator of Counselling Services. Between the first and second sessions, you will need to complete an online questionnaire that will be sent to you by the counselor. During this session, you will receive personalized feedback on your substance use based on the online questionnaire you completed. 

There is a $150 fee for BASICS/Drug and Alcohol counseling at Penn State Schuylkill. If a student fails to show up to a scheduled appointment or fails to cancel the appointment 24 hours before the scheduled time, they will be charged $50.

BASICS is offered at the Counseling and Student Disability Resources office, 201A Health and Wellness.

The information you share during the BASICS sessions is confidential; however, we will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law. We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent that threat. Mandated students will be asked to sign a release of information statement that will allow BASICS staff to verify completion with the appropriate Penn State offices.

An Evidence-Based Program
Penn State’s BASICS program is based on a program created by Dr. Alan Marlatt (Former Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center and Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington). The BASICS program is one of the most effective alcohol education interventions with college students.

Contact Us
If you have questions about these programs or about the use of alcohol and/or other drugs, you may also call the Counseling office at 570-385-6127.

Credit: BASICS information adapted from University Health Services.