What is BASICS?

BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) is an evidence-based program that has shown significant reduction in college student high risk drinking. The National Institute of Health (NIH) and The National Institute for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) ranks BASICS among the most successful programs to decrease harm resulting from college student drinking. Scholarly research continues to solidify its effectiveness with over forty (40) random control trials conducted within the decade. BASICS uses motivational interviewing, an evidence-based approach for helping people make changes.

How to Complete BASICS

To participate in BASICS or to be self referred:

  1. Email Brian Bowden to receive an email invitation to complete the survey.
  2. Fill out the 15 minute survey that will be used to create your Personal Feedback Report (PFR).
  3. Schedule and attend a one-on-one session. Sessions are conducted In-Person or by Zoom (select your prefernce when scheduling).


BASICS is a program designed to help you make decisions around drinking based on your own values to minimize harmful effects in your life. It is a confidential, 30-50 minute, one-on-one with a Wellness Center provider using your personal survey responses.

Topics include:

  • Alcohol's impact on sleep quality
  • NIAAA Low Risk Use
  • Detox information
  • Caloric impact
  • Personal BAC information
  • Dartmouth College student norms
  • And more!


The success of BASICS depends on students' openness about their alcohol and other drug use. Dartmouth College follows federal laws that prohibit sharing any information without the student's consent. Anything discussed in the BASICS program is not released without the student’s consent or knowledge.

History of BASICS at Dartmouth

Dartmouth College started BASICS in 2010 under President Jim Kim and the National Collaborative Health Improvement Project (NCHIP). The lead counselor of BASICS, Brian Bowden, oversees a team of providers who conduct both preventive and intervention sessions. Students who have an alcohol or other drug incident will be recommended to complete the program. Varsity athletes through Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2) and members of Greek organizations do BASICS as a preventive measure to optimize performance and academic success.

To learn more about Dartmouth's BASICS program, contact Brian Bowden.


Effectiveness of Abbreviated BASICS on Mandated Alcohol Referrals: A Feasibility Study

Abstract: This study analyzes the feasibility and effectiveness of reducing high-risk drinking by mandated alcohol policy violators using an abbreviated form of Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) called Mini-BASICS. Mini-BASICS includes completing an online assessment of alcohol and drug use, attending a 30-minute personalized feedback session (PFS), and completing online follow-up surveys. During 2012, 337 undergraduates participated. Analyzed data indicated a 53% reduction in total drinks during their heaviest drinking episode for up to 12 months post intervention.

Dartmouth College Mini-BASICS Components

This document is a reference for other institutions who might be interested in the components and progression of our program. If you have questions and/or comments concerning this document, please contact the Student Wellness Center at Dartmouth College or Brian Bowden.