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Institute of Substance Abuse Studies decides on new name

Gradual changes in the mission of the University's Institute for Substance Abuse Studies have led it to rename itself the Center for Alcohol and Substance Education.

Originally founded in 1987 primarily as a research center, CASE became a prevention and education organization as time passed, CASE Interim Director Alison Houser said.

"Over the years the office has evolved to better serve the needs of the University," Houser said. "The old name with the new mission didn't work."

Dean of Students Penny Rue said the function of CASE changed once it left the Medical Center to become affiliated with the Office of the Dean of Students.

"What we'd like to do is bring the name in line with the Center's focus," Rue said.

A number of groups collaborated on the decision to change the Institute's name to CASE, Houser said.

CASE's staff realized the old name no longer represented the Center's aims, and they spent the fall semester brainstorming new names, she said.

The Office of the Dean of Students, Office of Health Promotion and the Vice President's Advisory Committee on Substance Abuse were involved in the process, as well as student groups working with alcohol awareness and prevention programs, she added.

Officials hoped the name change could coincide with last semester's Alcohol Awareness Week, when more student attention was directed toward the Institute than normal, but Rue said organizational problems made that impossible.

Instead, the name change will take effect gradually throughout this semester, as old letterheads and other office products are used up, Houser said.

CASE officials hope the new name will draw attention to its services, which sometimes go unnoticed because of its location, Rue said.

Located on Ivy Road, the inconvenient spot is a major problem for CASE.

"Our location is one of the biggest challenges we face as an office," Houser said. "We are here to serve students yet we are not on a bus line and are a mile off campus.

"Eventually we would really like to be on Grounds," she said.

One of CASE's main programs, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team, has plans to provide more services for students this semester, she added.

ADAPT, which is in its first year, received a $1,500 grant from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a pedestrian safety/designated driver program.

About four peer educators from ADAPT will attend an upcoming training session in Harrisonburg, Va., for the program, after which they will share what they learn with other members of the organization, Peer Educator Adam Lackey said.

"After presenting what we've learned to the whole group we hope to start implementing the program immediately," Lackey said.

The ADAPT program came into existence after CASE's spring 1999 Health Behavior Survey found that 28 percent of University students who have used alcohol have driven under the influence, Houser said.


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