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Gannett Health Services
110 Ho Plaza
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3101

Tel: 607 255-5155
Fax: 607 255-0269

Brief Alcohol and Other Drug Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) is a service for students who want to explore their alcohol and other drug use. It is designed to assist students in examining their own behaviors in a judgment-free environment

Reasons to participate in BASICS

BASICS is appropriate for anyone who uses alcohol or other drugs, whether you are concerned about your drinking or drug use or just curious to learn about how your use compares to others. BASICS will provide you with a structured opportunity to assess your own risk, identify potential changes that could work for you, and help you to reduce your risk for developing future problems.

BASICS may be required when a student violates Cornell’s Code of Conduct / House Rules.

What to expect

BASICS involves two sessions with a Gannett health educator or counselor.

Session I: A 20-30 minute appointment where you will receive information about the program including information on how to access a web-based questionnaire

Session II: Based on the data collected in the questionnaire, you will receive a feedback profile that provides personalized information about your use of alcohol and other drugs and how it compares to other Cornell students. You will review this feedback profile in a confidential, one-on-one session lasting approximately 60 minutes. We will work with you to schedule the session at a time that fits with your schedule.

Appointments: call 607 255-4782

BASICS appointments are scheduled through the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives. Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Charges: BASICS is free for those who self-refer or are referred through The Good Samaritan Protocol (Good Sam). A $100 fee applies to others; please check with your referral source to see if a fee applies to you.

Missed appointments: Due to the high demand for BASICS scheduling, students who miss two BASICS appointments will be ineligible to participate in BASICS at Gannett. (Note that late arrivals may result in a missed appointment.) BASICS staff may refer these students back to their referral source.

What Cornell students say about BASICS

“I felt comfortable being here, and I learned about myself.”  

“The interaction was great and I talked about my habits without being labeled.” 

“It is a safe and private environment.”  

“BASICS is not telling you what to do.”  

“The feedback profile was very interesting."  

“I feel BASICS is a great way to go about handling drinking in college.”

The fine print

The Cornell version of BASICS is based on research conducted at the University of Washington and Western Washington University. Its aim is to reduce high-risk use of alcohol and other drugs as well as the potentially harmful problems associated with such use. In the words of the authors who conceptualized BASICS, “it is nonconfrontational, nonjudgmental, nonauthoritarian, and nonlabeling."

Dimeff, L., Baer, J., Kivlahan, D., & Marlatt, G. (1999). Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students. The Guilford Press.

Contact information

To learn more about BASICS, please email Kirsten Post Eynav, Health Initiatives Coordinator.

Learn more

"The BASICS of Tackling Risky Drinking Behavior Among College Students," by Kaitlyn Hanisko (9/25/13, University of Michigan Risk Science Center) .


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