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NIAAA Awards UAlbany $850,000 to Study Rapid Response to Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Contact: Michael Parker (518) 437-4980

Interim President John R. Ryan
President Ryan (left) joins the students and faculty of the University Counseling Center at a luncheon honoring the Dominion Foundation and their commitment to the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program.

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 7, 2004) -- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has awarded the University at Albany $849,057 to research interventions that prevent or reduce alcohol-related problems among college students. M. Dolores Cimini, Ph.D., licensed psychologist and director, Middle Earth peer assistance program and Matthew P. Martens, Ph.D., assistant professor of educational and Counseling Psychology in the School of Education will engage in the study “The Effects of Peer-Facilitated Alcohol Interventions."

The project initiatives will operate from the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program, a 2000 winner of a U. S. Department of Education Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Model Program Grant and the recipient of a 2001 Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Program Award by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. Middle Earth will integrate a $10,000 gift from the Dominion Foundation in disseminating prevention initiatives materials to colleges and universities through out the United States.

“This award underscores UAlbany’s long term commitment to addressing a nationwide problem related to college-age drinking,” said Interim President John R. Ryan. “I would like to thank NIAAA on behalf of the University for recognizing the dedication of Drs. Cimini and Martens as well as the students and staff of Middle Earth in their commitment to informing and educating students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. We also appreciate the support of Congressman McNulty and the Congressional delegation in our endeavors to create a community where students can succeed in learning and in life.”

“This grant will generate empirical data that is critical to our understanding of alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs designed to educate and intervene with university students," said James P. Doellefeld, vice president for student affairs.

This assessment of the effectiveness of two peer-led social norms-based alcohol prevention interventions will allow the researchers to determine the most efficacious program(s), which could then guide the University's decisions regarding program institutionalization. The main purpose of the project is to reduce high-risk alcohol consumption and negative alcohol related consequences among high-risk drinkers (i.e., individuals who have been referred to judicial affairs for an alcohol-related violation) on the campus. A secondary purpose is to analyze the components of the programs that are found to be effective.


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