High-risk drinking is a serious public health issue being addressed on just about every college campus across the country.

Over the past decade, there has been substantive evidence that students at the University of Iowa drink more heavily leading to more negative consequences than other college students nationally. In response to this evidence, leadership at The University of Iowa determined it was necessary to take a proactive and comprehensive approach to reducing high-risk drinking and related harms to our students.

In 2009, the Alcohol Harm Reduction Advisory Committee (AHRC) was created by the UI Vice President for Student Life. The AHRC is a multidisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students, that advises the Vice President for Student Life on a comprehensive and research-based plan to create conditions on our campus which decrease high-risk drinking and the related harmful consequences.  A campus-community partnership was also created between the University of Iowa campus and the City of Iowa City, called the Partnership for Alcohol Safety.  

The UI Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan contains multiple, mutually reinforcing, and research-based strategies. The tactics in our plan are grounded in the best available research on student success and effective strategies to reduce high-risk drinking on college campuses. Recognizing that not all students drink and of those who do, not all do so in a high-risk way, the goals of our plan address the needs of all students including those who don’t drink, those who have experienced a problem as a result of their drinking, and everyone in between.

2019-2022 Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan

High-risk undergraduate drinking has decreased significantly at the University of Iowa due to its 10-year commitment to alcohol harm reduction.

alcohol harm reduction plan

According to new data from the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey, high-risk drinking at the UI has decreased 32%, the number of undergraduates drinking 10 or more days a month has decreased by nearly 50%, and undergraduates now consume an average of two fewer drinks per occasion compared to data from 2009. This year, the UI also began tracking key metrics for graduate students, which can be viewed in the National College Health Assessment Summary for the University of Iowa.

View the 2019-2022 Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan.

Read more on Iowa Now

Harm Reduction Plans

 Alcohol Harm Reduction Executive Summary 2017-2018

National College Health Assessment Reports

Each year Student Wellness uses the American College Health Association - National College Health Assessment tool to collect data on our U of I students' health behaviors and practices.  The metrics for the Alcohol Harm Reduction plans are taken from this report and tracked each year. Click here to view the current and past data reports.


Lindsay Godin - Alcohol Photography - Part 1

Lindsay Godin - Alcohol Photography - Part 2

NCHA Data presentation - September 2016

"Yes, We Can!  Harm Reduction on Campus" - June 2015 

Guest Editorial: The validity of party school rankings should be discredited - Aug 2015

Related Navigation