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Mizzou Works With Other Missouri Universities to Prevent Risky Behaviors Among Students

Missouri universities win national recognition for alcohol prevention methods

Sept. 8, 2008

Story Contact:  Jeffrey Beeson, (573) 882-9144,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – As a new school year starts, college students are finding new opportunities, meeting new friends and making new decisions, some of which may be risky. Missouri universities are trying to decrease some of those risky behaviors, such as binge drinking and gambling addiction, and are graining national recognition. Partners in Prevention, a statewide coalition of 13 public universities headquartered at the University of Missouri, recently won the 2008 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices and Policies for their work in addressing drinking and risky behaviors on college campus and communities.

The innovative program, based on building a collaborative and supportive approach to addressing college drinking serves more then 130,000 Missouri college students each year. Partly due to the program, binge drinking has decreased among the 13 universities by 15 percent since 2001. Located at the MU’s Wellness Resource Center, Partners in Prevention works with universities across the state to maximize resources and send a consistent message throughout the higher education system in Missouri.

 “The Missouri Partners in Prevention Program has long exemplified the power of a comprehensive and consistent effort in tackling substance abuse issues,” said Drew Hunter, president of the BACCHUS Network, an organization focused on comprehensive health and safety initiatives on college campuses. “Being recognized as a 2008 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs is a big accomplishment and speaks very highly of the hard work by the staff and students associated with the Missouri Partners in Prevention. For years, this has been an exemplary program at many levels and a model that other campuses should emulate. It is no surprise that they were chosen for this outstanding honor.”

Working with the unique demographic of each university and their surrounding community, Partners in Prevention also has been able to address other college health issues such as problem gambling, roadway safety, suicide and mental health. With funding from the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and other agencies, Partners in Prevention provides technical assistance, training, financial support and evaluation services to the 13 universities.

“Because we are able to share resources and information, Partners in Prevention is able to tackle more then just alcohol; we also provide support for other issues that often get little funding or recognition,” said Joan Masters, senior coordinator of Missouri Partners in Prevention. “The willingness of university leaders to work together to combat risky behavior on college campuses has led to safer universities and communities throughout Missouri.”
Along with MU, the schools in Partners in Prevention include: Harris-Stowe State University, Lincoln University, Missouri Southern State University, Missouri State University, Missouri Western State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Truman State University, University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and University of Missouri-St. Louis.