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Alcohol screening to be offered on campus

Published May 3, 2004; Category: EVENTS

Separate events for students, faculty and staff

As part of National Alcohol Screening Day, faculty and staff members can take a brief alcohol screening and use the counseling services that have for the past few years have only been provided to students.

"We're just doing a brief assessment screening, looking for trends that might be indicative of problems with alcohol and, if so, providing helpful resources."

- James Platt

The screening will take place on Wednesday, May 12, at Tindle Lounge in Thayer Dining Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All screenings will be confidential and voluntary.

"We're not doing a clinical interview," said Jim Platt, Director of the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program and Instructor in Psychiatry. "We're just doing a brief assessment screening, looking for trends that might be indicative of problems with alcohol and, if so, providing helpful resources."

Students can obtain the same services at Collis Common Ground on Wednesday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well. Historically, students have turned out in sizable numbers to partake in National Alcohol Screening Day, while staff- and faculty-member events have been sparsely attended, Platt said.

He said he hopes to increase faculty and staff participation by moving the screening from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, one site where it used to be held, to the more accessible Tindle Lounge. Platt said that every precaution will be taken to ensure the confidential nature of the discussion between counselor and participant.

"We want to make it as safe and comfortable as possible," he said. "This is about examining a health issue. This is about finding help for a difficult relationship with alcohol, and not a punishment."

Aside from assessing problems with alcohol, the screening is intended to educate people about the risks associated with drinking alcohol. Counselors will convey the message that while alcohol can be measured by an objective standard, its effects vary from person to person.

National Alcohol Screening Day is the program of Screening for Mental Health and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

By MATT LEWIS '05

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Last Updated: 12/17/08