The Substance Use Assessment Counseling and Intervention Program

The Substance Use Assessment Counseling and Intervention Program is a clinical program that is provided at The University of Cincinnati Health & Wellness Center (HWC) – Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Wellness Center (SWC). This program is designed to help students explore their alcohol and drug behaviors, assess for risk factors that can lead to problems, and improve decision-making skills to reduce harmful behaviors.

Who Qualifies?

Students referred through the University of Cincinnati Student Conduct Office as well as self-referred students seeking assistance on their behalf. This program does not fulfill a court diversion program or meet conditions of probation.

Getting Started with BASICS:

The program begins with the student participating in BASICS, which is the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students. BASICS is a two-session program that starts with an initial one-hour interview followed by another hour of self-report questionnaires. The first interview is then followed by a 1-2 week period of self-monitoring, and a second interview that is a one-hour feedback session that incorporates patterns of alcohol use and risks associated with alcohol use. BASICS typically takes 4 or 5 weeks to complete.

The BASICS program provides:

  • A confidential service for students to openly explore their alcohol use.
  • An assessment of risk for continued alcohol related problems.
  • Personalized feedback to promote reduced risk for alcohol related problems.
  • If referred by Judicial Affairs, a letter of completion/incompletion regarding a student’s participation in BASICS.
  • Confidential recommendations to students.

The BASICS program does not:

  • Do a full assessment of other drug use.
  • Transmit personal information or details about a student’s participation in the program to outside referral sources. This creates a level of safety that most students need in order to honestly assess their alcohol use.
  • Result in the diagnosis of a mental health or substance use disorder or a formal alcohol and drug assessment. If this is required by the courts or your probation officer, you will need to seek this service elsewhere (such as a community-based agency or with an external qualified professional).
  • Fulfill a court diversion program or meet conditions of probation.

Outcome of BASICS:

Upon completion of BASICS, a student will be placed in the most appropriate track listed below:

Track One

Track one is called the Alcohol Skills Building and Education Program (ASEP) offered through the Student Wellness Center. This is a 1.5 hour educational program intended to learn information and gain skills aimed to change drinking and drug behavior and associated lifestyle habits. This one-time workshop does not involve a formal alcohol and other drug assessment or individual or group counseling sessions. The cost for ASEP is $50.00 per session.

Students who are referred to the Alcohol Skills Building and Education Program typically meet the following conditions:

  • No more than one alcohol or drug violation.
  • Minor alcohol or drug violations.
  • Could benefit from education to prevent further alcohol or drug problems or violations.

The Alcohol Skills and Training Program does not include or provide:

  • A comprehensive alcohol and other drug assessment.
  • A court diversion program or meet conditions of probation.


Track Two

Track two is called the Extended Alcohol and other Drug Services (EADS) offered through Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). Track two is designed for students mandated through U.C. and who have been determined to need a more comprehensive approach as a result of more serious alcohol and other drug problems. Track two includes a minimum of 5 individual counseling sessions and 5 group counseling sessions and can include more specialized assessments. Track two does not fulfill a court diversion program or meet conditions of probation. The cost for this track is $200.00.

Student who are referred to track two typically meet the following conditions:

  • Have two or more alcohol or drug violations.
  • The student has a pattern of academic problems related to alcohol or drug use including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
  • There are major consequences related to alcohol and/or drug use, such as violent outbursts and physical assaults, disorderly conduct, OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired), or other major legal consequences.
  • Require more than education to help prevent further problems.


Track Three

Track three is a comprehensive alcohol and drug assessment and referral track and is designed for students who have severe alcohol or other drug problems and need a more intensive approach that is beyond the scope of service at CAPS. Referrals are made to an alcohol and drug program in the community for more intensive treatment. The track three program will provide case management services to ensure students are connected with a treatment program and other needed resources.

Student who are referred to track three typically meet the following conditions:

  • Three or more alcohol or other drug violations.
  • Have not been able to change drinking or drug behaviors through CAPS.
  • Have withdrawal symptoms or other life threatening health problems associated with alcohol or other drug problems.