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The University launches project to reduce alcohol consumption among university students.

In a previous study with 308 students, 48% have reduced their weekly consumption and 57% have reduced their binge drinking episodes.

/From left to right, María Pueyo, Navidad Canga and María Lavilla.

14 | 02 | 2024

In order to strengthen Health Promotion in the university environment, the School of Nursing of the University of Navarra has launched the project BASICS_AulaSaludable (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) to reduce alcohol consumption among college students.

This initiative stems from the doctoral thesis of María Lavilla, professor of Nursing: "The objectives of the program are to reduce the amount of alcohol consumption in a week and weekend, as well as to reduce episodes of binge drinking and the negative short-term consequences of drinking," she explains.

The research has been directed by the also professors of the School Navidad Canga and María Pueyo, researchers of classroom Saludable and members of the team of research Innova-PSFC (Innovation for the promotion of family and community health) of the University of Navarra.

The program trains other students as health agents to serve as guide to other peers who have a risky consumption, thus becoming mentors for their peers, through a motivational interview. This is how Victoria López de Bleda, health agent, explains it: "The participants were expecting someone in a white coat to come and give them the typical talk about how bad alcohol is. However, it was as if they were talking to an acquaintance. I think, seeing you young, they feel like you're going to understand them and not judge them."

goal: create a "Wellness Center".

A total of 308 students participated in the study. In the first phase, the participants who received the program completed a questionnaire and underwent motivational interviews in order to learn about their relationship with alcohol. In this way, the negative consequences produced by alcohol intake were analyzed, such as having driven a car in an unfit condition, having suffered a blackout due to a binge drinking episode, problems with their close relatives.

After a month, they filled out the questionnaire again to see the results: "The participants - explains Lavilla - managed to significantly reduce weekly consumption by 48%, binge drinking episodes by 57% and short-term negative consequences by 56%". In addition, the students trained as health agents rated the experience as A , being able to integrate the skills acquired in their daily clinical internship .

This project does not stop here. The intention is to extend this service to the entire university community through the creation of a "Wellness Center", inspired by renowned institutions in the United States. The ultimate goal is to provide care and support to more students so that they can reduce their alcohol consumption and improve their overall well-being.