University Health and Counseling Services

Substance Use Information

The University of Southern Maine has several resources available to help you reduce your risk, keep yourself safe and protect the things in your life that matter the most to you!

  • Counseling and/or Health Visits on the Portland, Gorham or LAC campuses
  • Monthly Prevention Newsletters
  • Brief Alcohol Screening Intervention for College Students (BASICS) BASICS is a non-judgmental opportunity to look at the pros and cons of alcohol and/or marijuana. Learn tips to reduce your risk, and to protect the things you value!

More about BASICS- A student may be assigned BASICS through the Office of Community Standards and Mediation following the violation of USMs Alcohol and Drug policy. This sanction will provide the student with the necessary information needed to identify and reduce their level of risk.

Students can seek a BASICS visit on their own to determine their own personal level of risk and learn how to begin making low risk choices, prevent problems, and protect all they value and aspire for.

To request a BASICS visit, please contact Health and Counseling and ask to be connected with the Coordinator of Clinical Substance Use services or the BASICS facilitator.

BASICS was acknowledged as an evidence based program in the 2016 publication of the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health: Facing Addiction in America:

Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) is an example of a brief motivational intervention for which results have been positive. BASICS is designed to help students reduce alcohol misuse and the negative consequences of their drinking. Follow-up studies of students who used BASICS have shown reductions in drinking quantity in the general college population, among fraternity members, with heavy drinkers who volunteered to use BASICS, and among those who were mandated to engage in the program from college disciplinary bodies.106,162,

To learn more:Surgeon Generals Report Alcohol, Drugs and Health

To explore information related to commonly used substances, including effects and risks of use, as well as safety tips, please visit topics linked below:



Tobacco, Nicotine, E-Cigarettes & Vaping

ADD/ADHD Rxs, "Smart Drugs" & "Study Drugs"

Opiates & Opioids


For Parents

Fall Semester—A Time for Parents To Discuss the Risks of College Drinking

Talking with your College Bound Student about Alcohol

Partnership for Drug Free Kids

Growing Up Drug Free: A Parents Guide to Prevention

Other Addiction Resources

Campus Drug Prevention

9 Facts About Addiction People Usually Get Wrong