3 Elements of an Effective Alcohol Training Program for Students

Posted on 17 January 2017 |

It’s not uncommon to see students drinking alcohol on college campuses. And, it’s not surprising that for many administrators finding an effective way to communicate the dangers of alcohol is challenging.

According to a recent survey, 60 percent of college students said they’ve had a drink in the past month. Additionally, two out of three students engaged in binge drinking. Also, about 80 percent of college students drink at some point during their college career. 

Finding an effective alcohol prevention training solution can have a large impact on a student's drinking habits. But communicating the dangers to students can be a challenge for campus leaders. In this post, we will review three elements that will help you create effective alcohol training program for your students. 

1. Get Help from Student Leaders

Studies show that alcohol usage is strongly linked to peer relationships among college students. The effects of the social learning theory (SLT) show that we learn habits from our peers. Using other students to communicate the negative effects of alcohol is a great way to use the SLT.

When students first arrive on campus, have student leaders be the first to inform them of the dangers of alcohol. Hearing from a peer will have a much stronger effect than from a campus advisor.

These student leaders can act as role models and set a good example for the new student. Also, the student leader can help remove the stigma associated with staying sober and not drinking. And while some students may still choose to drink, at least the student leaders can provide them with healthier alternatives. 

2. Have a Training Program in Place

Combining a training program with a student leader is a powerful solution. While a student leader can provide real life examples and useful tips, the training courses can provide facts and statistics—as well as knowledge checks that help reinforce the message. This helps paint a more realistic and relatable picture of the true dangers of alcohol.

Also, training can help students who do decide to drink do so in a healthier and safer manner. Since many students may not have experience with alcohol, training can help them avoid dangerous behviors like binge drinking.

In addition to an online training course, it is also a good idea to have reinforcement material available. This will help keep the topics covered in the training fresh and help keep students safe. 

3. Offer Alcohol Free Activities

A majority of college drinking occurs at night. Alternative activities that don’t involve drinking can help give students other options. And if you have a campus group that specializes in alcohol-free activities, it’s a great way to get students involved.

This group can also help schedule events other students will want to attend. For example, there could be an alcohol-free tailgate for students who don't want to feel as if they need to drink at or before sporting events. Alcohol-free events are a great way for all students to experience the social aspects of college, whether they choose to drink or not.


It is virtually impossible to prevent all your students from drinking during their tenure at your institution. But, you can greatly reduce the amount of participation by following these steps.

Start by getting peers involved to show students you don’t need to drink in college to fit in or have fun. Then follow up with training to educate them on the negative effects of drinking. Lastly, make sure to have alcohol-free events available so there is something for every student to enjoy when they aren’t studying.

To learn more about Campus Answers’ online training for students, request a demo today.

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