Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOUTHEAST STUDENTS HELP LAUNCH DRINKING PREVENTION WEB SITE

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 18, 2002 - During National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) Oct. 21-25, students at Southeast Missouri State University will be introduced to MyStudentBody.com (MSB), a personalized, high-risk drinking prevention program.

Southeast is one of 26 colleges and universities across the country, including Brown University, Georgetown University, Tulane University, University of Maryland, University of Iowa and Harvard University, which have been selected to receive free access to the MSB site for the fall 2002 semester as a part of a pilot program.

MSB was developed by Inflexxion, Inc., a leading interactive health communications company, and was created with support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The NIAAA's recent report, "A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges," reported the devastating consequences of alcohol abuse on campuses across the nation: 1,400 alcohol-related deaths, 500,000 injuries, 70,000 sexual assaults and 2.1 million incidences of impaired driving each year. This report awakened many people to the consequences associated with high-risk drinking and has shown that intervention methods that help students change their beliefs about alcohol and motivate behavior change through personalized feedback are the most effective methods.

"The most important part of this site is that it answers questions that relate to the student's behavior and gives them immediate personalized feedback," said Kevin Stewart, the substance abuse coordinator for Southeast. "It is the type of information that I wish was available when I went to school, and I hope it will be available when my own kids go to school."

After completing a risk assessment profile, student users will receive immediate, tailored motivational feedback. Statistical research and advice is presented in language which appeals directly to college students. As they use the site, each user builds a confidential, personal profile to track their own alcohol consumption. Weekly consumption can be compared to national averages, based on age, gender, race, year in school, and Greek/athletic participation. Students may also learn from peers, access experts and read up on the latest alcohol-related news.

"MyStudentBody.com responds to students' needs on an individual level, rather than treating them as one homogenous group," said Dr. Simon Budman, chief executive officer and founder of Inflexxion, Inc. "Students differ in their drinking habits, in their desire to change those habits and in their opinions of what constitutes 'normal' or acceptable behavior. When it comes to alcohol prevention, or student health, one solution does not fit all."

All Southeast students are encouraged to participate in the program and many organizations are requiring students to go through the site during NCAAW. After students have completed all the personalized surveys, they have an opportunity to rate the information offered on the site. Southeast will use this information to decide if they will continue using this program after the trial period ends.

"The feedback has been good. Students have said that it is fun, and they get some useful information," Stewart said. "It presents the information in an interesting and unique manner that the students can remember."

 

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