There are a number of interventions that are effective in reducing alcohol-related harm among tertiary students.
In brief, strategies can be grouped into those which
- control the availability and accessibility of alcohol (supply control)
- encourage reduced alcohol use (demand reduction)
- reduce the problems stemming from the use of alcohol (problem limitation).
Supply control - strategies to control the availability of alcohol
- Restrict trading hours of licensed premises;
- Limit number or density of alcohol outlets near campus areas (object to liquor licences - see here);
- Advocate to increase the price of alcohol (e.g. through alcohol tax or minimum unit pricing);
- Implement total or partial alcohol bans on campus (e.g. campus alcohol policies or local government bylaws);
- Prohibit alcohol use/sale at campus events;
- Restrict price promotions (campus or community agreement for a policy to prevent alcohol brands that encourage students to drink more than they would normally);
- Advocate to raise the minimum legal purchase age to 20 years;
- Restrict alcohol advertising and sponsorship - for example in campus publications (see here);
- Conduct campus-wide social norms campaign;
- Require labelling on alcohol products;
- Implement community-based healthy university approaches.
- Implement host-responsibility programmes in licensed premises or encourage hosts of parties to be responsible hosts;
- Implement brief interventions for alcohol-related problems for students.
Community-based programmes should emphasise collaboration between students, tertiary institutions and the wider community. The following approaches are useful:
Whole-of setting approach – see The Okanagan Charter for health promoting universities
- Action 1 - embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates;
- Action 2 - Lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally;
- Develop a comprehensive strategic action plan with key stakeholders;
Identify environmental-level strategies and select multiple best-evidence interventions, this includes:
- Campus alcohol policies, substance-free halls of residence, ban on alcohol ad in student newspapers, etc;
- Evaluate interventions and report the findings.
Please also check out the Case Study - Campus Watch at the University of Otago. Findings have been published in a peer review paper here.
Other useful information
- Health Promotion in Tertiary Settings: reducing alcohol-related harm A review to inform policy and practice in tertiary settings
- For more information on how to promote health and well-being in tertiary settings, visit the following link http://twanz.squarespace.com/
- Healthy Universities approach in the United Kingdom - Toolkit & Resources