UNK Alcohol Task Force

It is common knowledge that college is a place where high risk drinking (binge drinking, drinking and driving, etc.) among 18-24 year olds is prevalent, and the University of Nebraska Kearney is no exception. In 2007 UNK Counseling & Health Care (CHC) submitted its strategic plan to the Nebraska Collegiate Consortium to Reduce High-Risk Drinking (NCC), and highlighted problems as reported on the 2006 American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA). CHC implemented and followed through with the 2007 strategies, and since then there has been a reduction in each of the problem issues over the past six years as reflected below:

Problem Area

ACHA 2006+

ACHA 2008+

ACHA 2010++

ACHA 2012++

High Risk Drinking*

48%

38%

35%

31%

Student Misperceptions

82%

74%

72%

60%

Drinking & Driving**

42%

38%

31%

16%

Driving After Binge Drinking***

18%

13%

8%

1.8%

*High Risk is defined has having five or more drinks the last time a student partied/socialized. **Percentage of UNK Students who reported driving within the last thirty days after drinking any alcohol at all. ***Percentage of UNK Students who reported driving within the last thirty days after having five or more alcohol drinks. +ACHA 2006 is baseline data and can be compared with 2008. ++Changes to the ACHA occurred in 2010 establishing new baseline data; therefore ACHA 2010 can only be compared with ACHA 2012.

To ensure this positive trend, UNK established an Alcohol Taskforce in 2009 for the purpose of developing and implementing strategies as a part of the Nebraska Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG). Its mission is to alleviate persistence problems caused by alcohol abuse by better educating UNK students on the dangers of high risk drinking, creating positive changes in students’ attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors regarding alcohol use. The ATF strives to ensure that prevention messages, enforcement efforts, educational materials, alternative resources, assessments and analysis, are universally streamlined.