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Release: Oct. 3, 2002

High Risk Drinking Prevention Website Is Available To UI Students

The University of Iowa has been selected to receive free access to MyStudentBody.comSM (MSB), a personalized, high-risk drinking prevention program developed by Inflexxion, Inc., a leading interactive health communications company. MSB was created with support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). A total of 26 colleges and universities will be trying the site during the 2002-03 school year, including Harvard University and the University of Florida.

UI students can gain access to the website by using the school code, which is "hawkeyes."

The NIAAA's recent report, "A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges," reported the devastating consequences of alcohol abuse on campus: 1,400 alcohol-related deaths, 500,000 injuries, 70,000 sexual assaults, and 2.1 million incidences of impaired driving each year. This report awakened many people to the consequences associated with high-risk drinking and also highlights intervention methods that are most effective with college students -- those that help students change their beliefs about alcohol and motivate behavior change through personalized feedback.

"Personalizing information and tactics is key to alcohol abuse prevention," said Sarah Hansen, coordinator of Health Iowa, the health promotion branch of the University's Student Health Service. " is an important resource that we feel will help strengthen our existing efforts, and one we hope our students will find helpful."

After completing a risk assessment profile, MSB users receive immediate, tailored motivational feedback. Statistical research and advice is presented in language that appeals directly to college students. As they use the site -- any time of day or night -- each user builds a confidential, personal and password-protected profile to track their own alcohol consumption. Weekly consumption can be compared to national averages, based on age, gender, race, year in school, and Greek/athletic participation. Students may also learn from peers, access experts, and read up on the latest alcohol-related news.

" responds to students' needs on an individual level, rather than treating them as one homogeneous group," said Dr. Simon Budman, CEO and founder of Inflexxion, Inc. "Students differ in their drinking habits, in their desire to change those habits, and in their opinions of what constitutes 'normal' or acceptable behavior. When it comes to alcohol prevention, or student health, one solution does not fit all."

Twenty-six colleges and universities across the country, including the UI, Brown University, Georgetown University, Tulane University, and University of Maryland have been selected to receive free access to the MSB site for the fall 2002 semester. Harvard University and the University of Florida have already purchased access to the site for the second semester and several others have expressed interest in doing the same.