The objective of this commentary is to discuss the significance of the study entitled, “Structuring a College Alcohol Prevention Program on the Low Level of Response to Alcohol Model: A Pilot Model” by Schuckit and colleagues (2012) published in this issue of the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The work by Schuckit and colleagues emphasizes the importance of personalizing an alcohol prevention program for college students.
This pilot model is the result of over 30 years of clinical translational research on an individual's level of response to alcohol. The prevention program is efficient, simple, safe, cost-effective and self-directed.
The results indicate the computerized intervention was associated with decreases in drinking overall and students with a low level of response to alcohol showed greater decreases when the prevention program is personalized to focus on how level of response is affected by peer influence, alcohol expectancies, and stress management. It concludes that college students with a low level of response to alcohol will benefit from a prevention program that is personalized to this well documented endophenotype.
The findings provide the foundation for developing future longitudinal studies of the proposed prevention program with a larger sample size on diverse campuses. In addition, as mentioned in the Discussion section, future studies could also evaluate the effectiveness of other easily measured clinical endophenotypes known to be associated with alcohol use such as impulsivity, negative effect, and maximum number of drinks per occasion.
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