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Raising Awareness about Alcohol and Toxic Drinking

Rwb carnival w chill
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The “Lang Gang” representing Langmuir College in the 3Ds Dodgeball Tournament.

April was designated Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in an effort to minimize the stereotypes associated with alcoholism — a chronic and progressive disease that can be hereditary and fatal if left untreated. This Awareness Month encourages the campus community to gain knowledge about alcohol, alcoholism and the road to recovery.  

Stony Brook University’s Center for Prevention and Outreach planned fun and educational events for the month of April to help raise alcohol awareness with the student population in collaboration with Red Watch Band (RWB), the peer education group that educates the community about the harmful effects of alcohol overdose.  

Learning While Having Fun
An exciting event was Stony Brook’s first 3Ds Dodgeball Tournament on April 7th at the Walter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center. Members from the RWB CARE Team and Green Dot Ambassadors, who also conduct trainings on ways to be active bystanders, were present to educate peers about the three Ds: “Direct, Distract, Delegate.” The 3Ds are a strategy taught during the Green Dot training, a bystander intervention program that aims to prevent forms of power-based personal violence, such as rape and sexual assault, relationship violence, harassment, and stalking.

Members of Red Watch Band and CHILL peer education groups at the RWB Carnival.
Members of Red Watch Band and CHILL peer education groups at the RWB Carnival.

This interactive event was the first of its kind and well received. It brought together about 50 students who learned how to use the 3Ds to be effective bystanders while having a good time. “The students that participated in the tournament loved the reference to dodgeball, and it brought together like-minded individuals that are willing to be active bystanders if needed,” said Kerri Mahoney, Alcohol and Other Drug Outreach Specialist.

The RWB partnered with students from the School of Nursing to conduct AUDIT screenings during the tournament. AUDIT is an alcohol screening tool that consists of 10 questions to gauge alcohol use. About 30 students were screened and given information about on- and off-campus resources, as well as information on how alcohol can affect various parts of life.

Another fun event was the Red Watch Band Carnival on April 19th, organized in partnership with CPO, National Guard Anti-Drug Task Force, Men’s Rugby, Career Center and Counseling and Psychological Services. A celebration of Alcohol Awareness Month, the event offered carnival games, trivia and prizes. The highlight of the event was the “Beer Goggle Cornhole” where students wore special goggles that mimicked the effects of alcohol on one’s physical abilities.

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