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Sunday, September 24, 2023


UH Wellness Center receives Department of Education grant

An alcohol and drug abuse prevention program run by UH Wellness has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

The program, which received a $189,000 grant, is one of only five across the nation in the Models of Exemplary, Effective and Promising Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse Prevention Programs on College Campuses Grant Programs.

“It’s the second time we have received this designation, making us one of the top alcohol prevention programs in the country,” Gail Hudson-Gillan, director of learning at UH Wellness, said.

“In order to be considered, universities must have documented two years of effectiveness, demonstrating an impact on quantity and frequency of drinking as well as negative consequences.”

After the completion and enhancement of research for the program, students are expected to take part this upcoming spring and summer, Hudson-Gillan said.

She hopes that the program will have a good influence on the students.

“The primary component of our comprehensive alcohol prevention program is IMAGE (Intent and Motivation: Alcohol Group Exercise),” Hudson-Gillan said. “This program focuses on reaching cohort groups so that students can compare themselves to the campus at large, and also to the groups with whom they most identify.”

Statistics from previous substance abuse and alcohol prevention programs reveal that they have made an impact in students’ lives.

“Results have indicated that students who attended a session (treatment group) were statistically more likely to consume fewer drinks per week, drink fewer times per month and experience fewer negative consequences than those who didn’t (comparison group).”

Hudson-Gillan expects nothing but good things to come from it.

“From a research perspective, this is an important goal,” Hudson-Gillan said. “But more important than anything else, we hope to continue having a positive impact on our students and supporting a safe and healthy campus environment.”

The other institutions recognized are the University of Central Florida, University of Nebraska, University of Missouri and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“To be in such great company with the other awardees who are well-respected in the prevention field is humbling,” Gaylyn Maurer, project director for the program, said in a news release. “We are proud to have brought such national recognition to (UH).”

According to the release, the IMAGE program was awarded Promising status in the 2008 Model Program grant competition. The program has also been recognized by the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.

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