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The BASICS Program

What is BASICS?

Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) is a service for students who want to explore their alcohol use.  It is designed to assist students in examining their own substance use behaviors in a non-judgmental and non-confrontational environment.

The goal of BASICS is to help students reduce risky behaviors and harmful effects from drinking.

Why participate in BASICS?

  • BASICS provides personalized feedback about your alcohol use and compares your alcohol use to other college students.
  • BASICS gives you an opportunity to explore your level of risk, identify possible changes, and help you to reduce your risk in developing future problems.
  • BASICS can serve as a "check-up" on your drinking.

Is BASICS right for me?

  • The target population for BASICS is college student drinkers.
  • BASICS is appropriate for any student who uses alcohol, whether you are concerned about your use or you are just curious about learning how your alcohol use compares to others.

Do I need a referral to BASICS?

No.  While your healthcare provider or someone in the campus community might recommend you to BASICS, you do not need a referral from anyone to participate in BASICS.

What if I am mandated to a program like BASICS?

The BASICS program at Hall Health Center does not provide certificates of completion for anyone mandated to BASICS by court order or student conduct violation.

What can I expect in a BASICS session?

BASICS involves two 50-minute sessions that are one-on-one with a provider.  BASICS is not therapy or substance abuse treatment. 

Here is what you can expect in the two sessions:

  • Session 1:  The BASICS provider will orient you to the BASICS program and gather information about your alcohol consumption patterns.  Information is collected through a computer-based questionnaire.
  • Session 2:  Based on the data collected from session one, you will receive a feedback profile that provides personalized information about your use of alcohol and how it compares with the college student population.  The second session is also an opportunity to discuss risk reduction and follow-up options.

What happens after I complete BASICS?

At your second BASICS session, you and your provider will have a discussion about additional resources and recommendations that might be helpful to you.  Your provider may recommend counseling or treatment options.

Who provides BASICS?

BASICS is provided by trained professionals in the Mental Health Clinic at Hall Health Center. 

How much does BASICS cost?

The BASICS Program is offered at no charge.

How do I schedule a BASICS appointment?

BASICS sessions are by appointment only.  Appointments are scheduled through the Mental Health Clinic at Hall Health Center.  Please call 206-543-5030 and ask to schedule a BASICS appointment.

Will my information be shared with anyone if I come to BASICS?

BASICS is a confidential service.  Your information will not be shared with others without your written consent, except in circumstances when there are legal limits to confidentiality. 

Read the UW Medicine Notice of Privacy Practices.

Does BASICS work?

BASICS is an evidence-based approach specifically designed for college students to prevent/reduce high-risk drinking and related negative consequences.  BASICS was developed at the University of Washington, Addictive Behaviors Research Center:

BASICS is a recognized Model Program through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Dimeff, L. A., Baer, J. S., Kivlahan, D. R., & Marlatt, G. A. (1999). Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS): A harm reduction approach. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.