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Check Your Drinking (CYD)


The CYD screener, a component of the Alcohol Help Center (, is a brief, personalized assessment feedback tool for reducing hazardous alcohol consumption.

The survey assesses demographic characteristics, quantity and frequency of drinking and use-related consequences. The auto-generated feedback report includes graphic depiction of user drinking and use consequences relative to national age and gender norms. Estimates are also provided on the amount of money spent, calories consumed and estimated weight gain, as well as prevention education regarding alcohol use.

Link to commercial site here.


Theoretical Approaches:
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Target Substance(s):

Target Outcomes:
Alcohol-related problems
Perceived peer drinking norms

Young Adults (18-30)
Adults (30+)


African American

Athlete seminar
College Diversion program

Geographic Locations:



  • A randomized controlled trial of an internet-based intervention for alcohol abusers.

    Cunningham, JA, Wild, TC, Cordingley, J, van Mierlo, T, Humphreys, K. Addiction. 2009. 104: 2023-2032. PMCID: PMC2779998.

    Summary: In this randomized controlled trial, 185 eligible participants (AUDIT – C scores >4) recruited through a general telephone population survey were assigned to receive access to the CYD or to a no-intervention control group. All participants were followed up at 3- and 6-months time to determine changes in drinking status.

    There was a 95% and 93% follow-up rate at the two time-points, respectively. Problem drinkers in the intervention group reduced their weekly number of drinks by an average of 7 (3-mo follow-up) and an average of 6 (6-mo follow-up), with no significant reduction in drinking at either time-point for participants in the control group. Problem drinkers also demonstrated significant reductions in AUDIT – C scores (baseline – 3 m: baseline – 6 months) but no significant reductions in AUDIT – C scores between baseline and either time-point were observed for the control group.

    Take Away: The CYD shows promise in helping non-treatment seeking, problem drinkers reduce average weekly alcohol consumption to levels comparable to the magnitude that has been observed in face-to-face brief interventions in primary health care settings.

  • Twelve-month follow-up results from a randomized controlled trial of a brief personalized feedback intervention for problem drinkers.

    Cunningham JA, Wild TC, Cordingley J, Van Mierlo T, Humphreys K. Alcohol and Alcoholism. 2010. 45(3): 258-62. PMCID: PMC2857148.

    Summary: In this randomized controlled trial, 185 eligible participants (AUDIT – C scores >4) recruited through a general telephone population survey were assigned to receive access to the CYD or to a no-intervention control group. All participants were followed up 12-months to determine changes in drinking status compared to baseline.

    There was an 89% follow-up rate for those submitting data at baseline and 12-months. Results show that after 12 months, there does not appear to be any significant impact of having access to CYD relative to problem drinking controls. However, of those assigned to the CYD group, one-third did not access the website. Thus, this intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis likely yielded a conservative test of the CYD intervention effects.

    Take Away: The CYD was no better than the no-intervention control condition in reducing drinking at 12 months. Results at 12-months failed to sustain intervention effect, evidenced at 3- and 6-months.

  • Preventing high-risk drinking in youth in the workplace: A web-based normative feedback program.

    Doumas DM, Hannah E. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2008. 34(3): 263-271. PMID: 17600650.

    Summary: In this evaluation of the efficacy of CYD delivered in the workplace (n=5) to young adults (18-24) in the northwestern US, 196 eligible participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: web-based personalized feedback alone (WI); WI plus a 15-minute motivational interview session (MI); or a control group. Data on drinking quantity, frequency, and heavy consumption were collected at baseline and a 30-day follow-up point.

    Results show significant decreases in weekly drinking, the frequency of drinking to intoxication, and peak consumption between both intervention groups combined (CI) compared to controls, as well as between WI and controls. However, there was no significant difference between WI and MI groups on any alcohol consumption measures.

    Take Away: The addition of the counselor provided 15-minute MI session does not increase the efficacy of web-based personalized feedback.

  • Reducing heavy drinking among first year intercollegiate athletes: A randomized controlled trial of web-based normative feedback

    Doumas DM, Haustveit T. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. 2010. 22(3): 247-261. doi: 10.1080/10413201003666454

    Summary: In this evaluation of the efficacy of the CYD delivered as part of the athlete freshman seminar curriculum provided by an athletic department at a Division 1 university in the northwest, 59 eligible intercollegiate athletes enrolled in the freshman seminar were randomly assigned to either a web-based personalized feedback intervention (WPF) or a web-based education group (WE). Due to absence, there was a final sample of 52 athletes. Participants were classified as ‘high risk’ or ‘low risk’ based on baseline reports of binge drinking. Data on weekly drinking quantity, peak consumption, and frequency of drinking to intoxication were collected at baseline, 6 weeks and a 3-month follow-up point. Data on perceptions of peer (‘students’ and ‘athletes’) were also collected.

    Sixty-four percent of students were retained at the 6-week and 3-month follow-up. There were no differences in attrition rates between groups. Results indicate that freshman athletes reported higher levels of weekly drinking for both collegiate athletes and college students than they reported for themselves. Per alcohol consumption data collected, significant reductions across measures were observed among ‘high risk’ student athletes in the WPF group compared to those in the control group (60% in weekly drinking: 40% in peak drinking levels: 50% in frequency of drinking to intoxication). Changes in beliefs about typical student drinking from baseline to 3-months was positively related to reported reductions in all three alcohol consumption measures during the same period.

    Take Away: This study adds to the growing body of literature supporting the CYD as an effective intervention to reduce drinking, in particular among student athletes. Shifts in perceptions of peer alcohol consumption were correlated to reductions in alcohol consumption measures.

  • Evaluation of two web-based alcohol interventions for mandated college students

    Doumas, DM, McKinley, LL, Book, P. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2009;36(1):65-74.PMID: 18657941.

    Summary: In this first study to examine the efficacy of web-based personalized normative feedback (WPNF) with mandated students, 83 youth (18-24) were referred to a University Counseling Service for violating university policy on alcohol. Of these, 76 students were randomly assigned to the WPNF group or a web-based education group (WE). Data on weekly drinking quantity, peak consumption, and frequency of drinking to intoxication were collected at baseline and a 30-day follow-up point.
    Data were also collected on alcohol-related problems and perceived peer-drinking norms.

    88% of participants were retained at the 30-day follow-up. There was no difference in rates of attrition across groups. Results indicate that mandated students in the WPNF group reduced their drinking (across measures: 40% for weekly quantity: 21% for peak drinking: 19% for frequency of drinking to intoxication) significantly more than those in the WE control group (18%/5%/10%, respectively). There were no differences between groups on reductions in alcohol-related problems, though both groups made great strides in this area. Mandated students overestimated the levels of college student weekly drinking relative to their own at baseline (estimating it to be twice as much). Lastly, changes in estimates of peer drinking mediated the relationship between the effect of the intervention and changes in drinking.

    Take Away: Results of this study suggest providing web-based normative feedback as an early intervention program is a promising strategy for the reduction of high-risk drinking in the mandated student population.