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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

NIH updates comprehensive resource to address college drinking


CollegeAIM stays in-step with latest college alcohol intervention research.

Since it was first launched in 2015, the CollegeAIM (Alcohol Intervention Matrix) guide and website has provided research-based information to help college officials address harmful and underage student drinking by identifying effective alcohol interventions. Developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health, CollegeAIM has now been updated to include revised ratings based on new research findings published since its original release.

“Reducing harmful and underage drinking is an essential part of an overall strategy to protect the college community from COVID-19 and should continue to be a priority of college administrators long after the pandemic recedes,” said George Koob, Ph.D., NIAAA director. “It’s important that CollegeAIM stay current with the latest findings on alcohol interventions, so college officials have the best chance to improve the health and safety of their students.”

CollegeAIM compares and rates individual- and environmental-level interventions that have been evaluated in preventing and reducing harmful and underage student drinking. Environmental-level strategies target the campus community and student population as a whole; while individual-level strategies focus on individual students, including those in higher risk groups such as first-year students, student-athletes, and members of Greek organizations. CollegeAIM rates these interventions based on effectiveness, anticipated costs and barriers to implementation, and other factors. Its centerpiece remains a comprehensive and easy-to-use matrix-based tool to inform college staff about these evidence-based interventions.

CollegeAIM represents an ongoing multi-year collaboration and an extensive review of the scientific literature. In the current update, 7 interventions were added to the nearly 60 interventions already included. Also, some interventions have received updated ratings of their effectiveness.

“During the current pandemic, of course, one of the most important messages for college students, whether on campus or attending classes virtually, is that alcohol and COVID-19 don’t mix,” says Dr. Koob. “Alcohol has long been recognized as a social lubricant. Unfortunately, this is a time when taking precautions such as maintaining safe social distancing and wearing a mask are important in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, alcohol might make it harder for the body to protect against the virus if exposed.”

CollegeAIM and related resources on harmful and underage college drinking, are available at

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