Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Texans Standing Tall: Earlier Screening and Brief Intervention Beyond the Judicial System

Earlier Screening and Brief Intervention Beyond the Judicial System is a motivational intervention that targets underage and other college students considered to be at high risk for alcohol abuse and misuse. The program aims to reduce risky behavior before a violation occurs, while concurrently reinforcing positive behavior among abstainers and low-risk drinkers. Essential program activities include screening and brief intervention on college campuses among students before they are exposed to heavy drinking or experience alcohol-related consequences early in their academic career. Designed with input from an expert in screening and brief intervention, campus administrators, and students, the program’s approach incorporates elements of the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI), and brief motivational intervention.

Each campus partner identifies an at-risk population and a location and format in which an AUDIT can be administered, immediately followed by brief intervention. Students complete the 10-question AUDIT, along with several questions from the RAPI, and receive a score-sheet identifying their drinking range and level of risk, as well as a list of support organizations and services. Following the AUDIT, each student is invited to speak to trained staff in a confidential setting. The motivational intervention focuses on improving health and the student’s ability to perform academically by highlighting their current drinking behaviors. Because all students receive the brief intervention regardless of their AUDIT score, positive behavior is reinforced among those that abstain or drink at low-risk levels.

With funding from SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity of Evidence-Based Interventions, Texans Standing Tall will implement evaluation enhancements designed to increase participant response rates to the AUDIT instrument and reduce respondent attrition, which were identified as issues during participation in the Service to Science technical assistance phase. Specific activities include:

  • Increasing response rates by administering six-week follow-up surveys by email (in addition to the pre-intervention paper surveys) through the campus system, thus bypassing spam filters and allowing for identification and resolution of any sending errors
  • Matching pairs and providing incentives using a three-part raffle ticket approach to increase participation in the pre- and post-intervention surveys


Nicole Holt
Executive Director
Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
Phone: (512) 442-7501
Email: nholt@texansstandingtall