By On September 22nd, 2009

Internet Program Reduces College Drinking

According to a new study conducted by Australian researchers, web based interventions may be useful in reducing binge drinking in college students. The study, which was published in the Sept. 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, found that students who participated in the online program drank 17% less alcohol than controls. The online program consisted of a motivational online assessment accompanied by personalized feedback. While the program was not as successful as a similar online counseling program at the same campus, the accessibility and apparent student interest in the program make the possibilities alluring. According to Kypros Kypri, PhD, of the University of Newcastle, and colleagues, “Given the scale on which [the intervention] can be delivered and its acceptability to student drinkers, we can be optimistic that a widespread application of this intervention would produce a benefit in this population group…” Click here to read an article from US News and World Report that discusses the study further.

A thought for the church leader:

Romans 10:14- “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

I think a useful message that can be derived from this study for a Pastor or congregant seeking to help others is that “showing up” is half the battle. The overwhelming feeling that I get from the results of this study is that “something is better than nothing.” A person to person encounter would be ideal (in most cases) and, I theorize, create greater outcomes (perhaps on a smaller scale). If a “motivational survey” could reduce alcohol consumption by 17% in this college community, a cookie cutter program that cannot speak, or see, or hear, or reflect human emotion, how much more can the average person armed with a simple and clear message do in person?

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