Risks of alcohol studied through free screening

The Health, Counseling, and Prevention service of Northern Kentucky University is offering help with alcohol awareness, in an effort to promote wellness on campus.

NKU will host Alcohol Screen Day Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the University Center lobby.

“This is a national event,” said Karen Bolte, a counselor at the Health, Counseling and Prevention service. “This event is put on to collect information about college students’ drinking habits. The screens tell us which demographics are at the highest risk of alcohol abuse.

“It also gives us a chance to find out how much students are drinking and to tell students what the risks of drinking are.”

NKU’s athletic teams play an important role in the Alcohol Screen Day because they are required to attend the session.

“It’s mandatory for NKU’s athletic teams to get screened,” Bolte said. “At NKU, we are unique because we include athletes in the screening. The NCAA actually did an article about how we screen our athletes and encourage other schools to follow suit.”

“I think it sets a good example,” said Todd Asalon, NKU head baseball coach. “It’s good for the educational aspect for the athletes as well as the students.

“There are a lot of temptations for kids out there these days, and a better understanding of a problem is the best way to prevent one.”

Student Life contributed in making the event more entertaining by bringing in a guest speaker. Alcohol Screen Day will be capped off with a performance by educational comedian Wendi Fox, who will perform at the Budig Theater in the University Center at noon and again at 7:30 p.m.

Fox’s performance is about how alcoholism has become a national catastrophe, she offers thoughts and ideas about the problem by using her own life experiences where she was raised in an alcoholic environment.

Free alcohol screens will be available from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The screens will be confidential and all participants will have the opportunity to meet with a mental health professional for results and feedback.

“Our goal is to provide a fun social setting where we can raise awareness about the risks of drinking,” Bolte said.

Student life and athletics are co-sponsoring the event.