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AlcoholEdu is an online prevention program for alcohol misuse in college students.

Over two sessions, the AlcoholEdu program uses traditional educational techniques, personalized normative feedback, and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to decrease alcohol use and alcohol-related harms. Information is presented through interactive multimedia components, including graphics, audio discussions, interactive animations, video case studies, blog simulations, and exercises designed to promote self-reflection. Changes in alcohol-related knowledge and attitudes are assessed using pre- and post-course surveys.

Link to commercial site here.


Theoretical Approaches:
Personalized Normative Feedback
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Target Substance(s):

Target Outcome(s):
Alcohol misuse
Alcohol-related harms

Young Adults (18-30)


African American

Remote Access

Geographic Location:



  • Impact of an online alcohol education course on behavior and harm for incoming first-year college students: Short-term evaluation of a randomized trial.

    Croom K, Lewis D, Marchell T, Lesser ML, Reyna VF, Kubicki-Bedford L, Feffer M, Staiano-Coico L. Journal of American College of Health. 2009. 57(4): 445-454. PMID: 19114384.

    Summary: The effectiveness of AlcoholEdu was assessed in a prospective randomized controlled trial at one college. All incoming freshmen were randomly assigned to AlcoholEdu (n=1,608), or to a control condition (n=1,608). In the AlcoholEdu condition, all participants completed the web-based AlcoholEdu program and pre- and post-course surveys. Participants in the control group completed the same surveys as the AlcoholEdu group, but did not have access to the AlcoholEdu program. Pre-course and post-course surveys assessed the prevalence of alcohol use, high-risk behaviors, and protective behaviors. Results showed that all participants had similar pre-course knowledge about alcohol use. After completing the program and post-course assessment, participants receiving AlcoholEdu had greater knowledge about alcohol use and alcohol-related harms. Despite this increase in knowledge, there were no differences in the prevalence of alcohol use, protective behaviors, or alcohol-related harms between the AlcoholEdu and control groups.

    Take Away: Although the AlcoholEdu program increased alcohol-related knowledge, the program did not decrease alcohol use among incoming college freshmen.

  • Reductions in drinking and alcohol-related harms reported by first-year college students taking an online alcohol education course: A randomized trial.

    Lovecchio CP, Wyatt TM, Dejong W. Journal of Health Communications. 2010. 15(7): 805-819. PMID: 21104507.

    Summary: Freshmen at one college were randomly assigned to either AlcoholEdu (n=810) or an assessment-only control condition (n=810). Participants assigned to AlcoholEdu completed the web-based program, along with a baseline survey measuring alcohol use and alcohol-related attitudes and behaviors. A month after completion of the initial AlcoholEdu session, participants completed a review session and follow-up survey. Participants assigned to the assessment-only control completed only the surveys at baseline and thirty days later. Results of the baseline and follow-up surveys were analyzed. Compared to the control condition, participants completing AlcoholEdu used less alcohol, were less likely to binge drink, and experienced fewer negative behavioral consequences of drinking. The rates of engaging in high risk alcohol-related behaviors and protective behaviors were comparable between the two conditions. Interestingly, participants completing AlcoholEdu had larger decreases in responsible drinking behaviors (e.g. eating prior to drinking, pacing drinking) compared to the assessment-only condition.

    Take Away: Results suggest that AlcoholEdu may contribute to decreased drinking in college freshmen one month after completing the program. Further research is needed to better understand apparent negative impact of AlcoholEdu on important preventive behaviors related to consequences of alcohol use.

  • Web-based alcohol prevention for incoming college students: A randomized controlled trial.

    Hustad JTP, Barnett NP, Borsari B, Jackson KM. Addictive Behaviors. 2010. 35(3): 183-189. PMCID: PMC2815230.

    Summary: The effectiveness of AlcoholEdu for decreasing alcohol use was compared to the e-Checkup- to-Go (formerly known as e-Chug) in this randomized controlled trial. Incoming college freshmen (n=82) were randomly assigned to either AlcoholEdu, e-Chug, or an assessment-only control condition. All participants completed a baseline survey and a follow-up survey thirty days after their arrival to campus. These self-report surveys asked participants about their alcohol use and alcohol-related attitudes and behaviors. Participants assigned to AlcoholEdu or to e-Chug completed the respective online program in addition to the surveys. Results showed that one month after arriving on campus, participants in both the AlcoholEdu and e-Chug groups had used less alcohol, had experienced fewer alcohol-related harms, and had lower estimated peak BAC levels than participants in the control group. Participants completing AlcoholEdu were also less likely to have experienced alcohol-related consequences, or have regrets about drinking than participants in the assessment-only control condition.

    Take Away: Among incoming college freshman, both AlcoholEdu and e-Chug were associated with decreased drinking during the first month of college.

  • Evaluation of an internet-based alcohol misuse prevention course for college freshmen: Findings of a randomized multi-campus trial.

    Paschall MJ, Antin T, Ringwalt CL, Saltz R.F. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2011. 41(3): 300-308. PMCID: PMC3173258.

    Summary: In this multi-campus randomized controlled trial, thirty colleges were randomly assigned to implement either AlcoholEdu or a control condition. Prior to arrival on campus, freshman at colleges assigned to AlcoholEdu completed the initial AlcoholEdu session, plus surveys on alcohol use and alcohol-related risks. A month after completion of the first module, freshman at the AlcoholEdu colleges were sent email reminders to complete the second AlcoholEdu session, plus a follow-up survey. Incoming students in colleges assigned to implement the control condition received the surveys only. Differences in implementation of AlcoholEdu led to completion rates ranging from 4% to 100% of incoming freshman. During the fall semester, results showed that freshmen in colleges implementing AlcoholEdu used less alcohol and had a lower binge drinking frequency than freshmen attending colleges in the control condition. The colleges with the highest percent of students completing AlcoholEdu had the greatest decreases in freshmen alcohol use and binge drinking. Despite student-level differences, there were no differences in overall rates of binge drinking and average number of drinks per occasion in AlcoholEdu and control schools.

    Take Away: Completion of the AlcoholEdu program is associated with a short-term decrease in alcohol use among college freshmen. However, the data do not support population-level impact.

  • Effects of AlcoholEdu for college on alcohol-related problems among freshman: A randomized multi-campus trial.

    Paschall MJ, Antin T, Ringwalt CL, Saltz RF. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2011. 72(4): 642-650. PMCID: PMC3125887.

    Summary: This analysis expands on the results presented in an earlier article examining the outcomes of a multi-campus randomized controlled trial of AlcoholEdu by presenting results from surveys given to a sample of students at each college. At each college, 200 freshmen were selected to complete online surveys on drinking and alcohol related risk behaviors during the fall and spring semesters. Across all 30 schools, 44-48% of selected freshman completed the online surveys. During the fall semester, the risk of alcohol problems was significantly decreased in freshman receiving the AlcoholEdu program.. Freshman at colleges implementing AlcoholEdu also had lower rates of physiological, social, and victimization problems during the fall semester. No differences in rates of academic problems, sexual risk-taking, aggression, or driving under the influence (DUI) were detected. Colleges with higher AlcoholEdu completion rates had greater decreases in physiological, social, and victimization problems among freshmen. During the spring semester, the rates of all alcohol related problems were comparable in colleges implementing either the AlcoholEdu or assessment-only conditions.

    Take Away: Completion of the AlcoholEdu program reduced the risk of some alcohol-related problems in college freshmen during the fall semester. These decreases were not sustained through the spring semester.