Substance Use Risk Reduction

Creating a safer, healthier campus community

Copy Of Campus Photo For Page 11 13 Merge

McWell recognizes the significant impact alcohol and other substance use can have on the well-being of our campus community.  Because of this, substance use risk reduction strategies are an important way McWell is working to keep our campus healthy and safe.  

To schedule an appointment go to or email

Expectation of Responsibility

The health, safety, and well-being of individuals should be paramount concerns of all members of the Notre Dame community.  As such, Notre Dame students are expected to exercise active care and concern and contact appropriate authorities in the event of any health or safety emergency, even if violations of the University’s alcohol policy and/or controlled substances policy may have occurred in connection with such an emergency.

Because students’ concern of possible disciplinary action may unnecessarily deter their desire to seek medical attention for themselves or others, the University has adopted the following Expectation of Responsibility to remove barriers for students seeking medical attention in alcohol and drug-related incidents. This Expectation is intended to create an environment where students receive necessary medical attention and those involved are provided an opportunity to learn from the incident.  

In situations where someone requires medical attention due to an alcohol and/or drug-related incident, students are expected to:

  1. proactively contact an appropriate authority (e.g. Notre Dame Security Police, residence hall staff, 911, etc.) to seek medical attention, and
  2. remain with the individual requiring medical attention, and
  3. cooperate with responding emergency officials.

For more detailed information, visit the Expectation of Responsibility page of du Lac: A Guide to Student Life.

Alcohol Education

The McDonald Center for Student Well-Being provides a variety of opportunities to students to guide them as they make choices around alcohol use. We utilize a non-judgmental, harm reduction approach to allow students to evaluate their current drinking behaviors and identify strategies to decrease any potential risks. Students have the opportunity to visit McWell for a one-on-one customized Alcohol Screenings session, or are invited to take advantage of an online web survey for personalized feedback regarding drinking behaviors.

Alcohol Screenings

One-on-one alcohol screenings include a brief interview with students to discuss risk reduction and subsequent alcohol education. Based on the results of the alcohol screening conducted by a McWell staff member students may participate in BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students). 


BASICS, Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students, is a nationally recognized best practice tool for alcohol interventions with multiple research studies supporting its effectiveness. BASICS is delivered in a 1:1 educational intervention model rooted in harm reduction that emphasizes personal responsibility and self-efficacy.  

BASICS uses Motivational Interviewing to help students reconsider their drinking habits and patterns. Motivational Interviewing is a non-judgemental, collaborative approach to the conversation around alcohol. 

The process involves an alcohol screening, online education and feedback discussion generally delivered over two sessions with a trained staff member. 

Alcohol eCheckUpToGo 

The Alcohol eCheckUpToGo is an interactive web survey that allows university students to enhance their overall well-being through risk reduction around alcohol. Students enter information about their drinking patterns and receive feedback about their use of alcohol to use to make healthier choices.

After accessing Alcohol eCheckUpToGo, students are prompted to enter information about:

  • Demographic information
  • Drinking habits
  • Family history

Based on the information shared, Alcohol eCheckUpToGo calculates a number of variables and compares responses to national college norms and provides students with personalized feedback.

Marijuana Education

Marijuana eCheckUpToGo

The Marijuana eCheckUpToGo is an interactive web survey that allows university students to enhance their overall well-being through risk reduction around marijuana.  The Marijuana eCheckUpToGo provides students with personalized feedback about:

  • Individual pattern of marijuana use
  • Risk patterns
  • Aspirations and goals
  • Helpful resources