Impact of a University Alcohol Policy Change on Bystander Responses to Alcohol-Related Medical Emergencies

Amie L. Haas, Nicholas C. Welter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two studies evaluated the implementation of a stricter campus underage drinking policy on service utilization and bystander helping behaviors for alcohol-related medical emergencies. A program evaluation (Study 1) examined campus emergency medical service logs assessing changes in call volume and service utilization, finding a 30% reduction in call volume postpolicy change. Study 2 provided a qualitative data summarizing campus first responder (N = 35) accounts of off-duty alcohol-related emergency calls. Off-duty calls increased postpolicy change and thematic analyses indicated they were (a) motivated by fear of campus sanctions, (b) often yielded delays or failures to contact campus emergency staff, and (c) resulted from student misunderstandings of policy implications for bystander helpers. Findings highlight potential challenges in executing environmental strategies to reduce college drinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Drug Education
Volume48
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • alcohol use
  • college students
  • medical amnesty
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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