National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week runs Oct 21-27 this year. It's a week to recognize the harmful impact that binge drinking can have on college campuses, and how we can work together to prevent it.

Below is a post from David Arnold, Director of Alcohol Abuse and Impaired Driving Prevention Efforts at the The BACCHUS NetworkTM, outlining their prevention efforts.

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) is recognized the third full week of October, annually, to galvanize and showcase the prevention efforts on college campuses everywhere.

We here at The BACCHUS NewtorkTM support the efforts of NCAAW by peer groups and campus advisors by providing a comprehensive NCAAW Toolkit, full of resources, education, and sample programs to implement on your campus.  Thanks especially to our summer interns (James Peth from Colorado State University and Kate Ward from the University of Massachusetts), I strongly believe this years’ toolkit to be the strongest yet.

One of the greatest strengths comes from the natural inclusion of social media as a major campaign theme.  The theme, #makeSMARTchoices, incorporates both educational messaging and a social media hashtag.

Promoting responsible alcohol use using social media requires some planned thought and effort, which is why I’m so proud of our partnership with The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in hosting a webinar, “What the Tweet! Using Social Media to Increase Student Involvement in NCAAW and Other Health Education Campaigns.”  The webinar was offered free, with sponsorship from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, and showcased not only the NCAAW Toolkit and tips on implementing a social media strategy, but also the phenomenal efforts of the University of Alabama’s Less Than U Think campaign

BACCHUS has continued to support its member campuses’ efforts in implementing NCAAW, including posting “re-tweetable” messaging, technical assistance, and providing topical updates for campuses to incorporate in their efforts.

But in the end, it is the students and their dedicated advisors who do the work to make change on their campuses.   Great change doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen in just one week.  The NCAAW provides a venue to highlight activities that happen year-round, and we hope these tools will support students and staff in all of their efforts.

Next year’s National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week will be help October 20-26, 2013.  Information is always available on The BACCHUS NetworkTM website at http://www.bacchusnetwork.org/ncaaw.html.