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ADAPT aims to increase peer alcohol education

The University's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team is looking at substance abuse prevention programs to assess the need for increased peer education.

ADAPT was created by the Institute for Substance Abuse Studies last spring as a result of the University's 1998 Alcohol Task Force, which looked into ways to prevent alcohol abuse at the University.

Through the utilization of peer educators, three subcommittees within ADAPT will focus on promoting awareness, providing educational outreach and serving as an accessible resource for students.

University students also play a key role in ADAPT.

"On issues like alcohol, students have a better understanding of how to relate to fellow students ... they've been there," Dean of Students Penny Rue said.

Last semester, the Institute for Substance Abuse studies recruited 14 students to train to be ADAPT peer educators.

The ADAPT peer educators include "members of the Greek system, members from every class, transfer students and resident advisors," said Alison Houser, Prevention Programs and Services interim director.

Houser said ADAPT peer educators all have different reasons for participating in the organization.

"When I came to school I found a social environment that revolved around alcohol, and saw immediately the negative affects of alcohol abuse," fourth-year College student Andrea Plummer said.

"I wanted to find a program like ADAPT where I could personally contribute and promote responsibility," she said.

The awareness subcommittee will plan events such as "Alcohol Awareness Week," during the week of Nov. 8.

While the outreach subcommittee will develop and facilitate educational programs on the issues of alcohol and other drugs, the research development subcommittee helps support ADAPT's goal of developing and maintaining the Institute's resource library.

While all of the subcommittees promote drug and alcohol abuse education, the most important theme of ADAPT is student leadership in peer-based prevention programs, Houser said.

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