Challenging College Alcohol Abuse (CCAA) is a social norms and environmental management program aimed at reducing high-risk drinking and related negative consequences among college students (18 to 24 years old). The program corrects misperceptions of alcohol attitudes, behavior, and beliefs that drive heavy drinking and high-risk behavior and encourages the development of policies that establish and maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students. It also seeks to develop community and civic partnerships and collaborations in support of campus substance abuse policies and State and local laws. CCAA uses a campus-based media campaign and other strategies to address misperceptions about alcohol and make the campus environment less conducive to drinking. Studies have shown that college students tend to perceive their peers' level of drinking to be higher than it actually is, which in turn influences their own drinking behavior.
CCAA's media campaigns address these misperceptions by
- Communicating norms using data from surveys conducted at the university,
- Educating students on less-known or less-understood facts related to alcohol, and
- Offering an opportunity to change the "public conversation" around alcohol use among students, staff, and the local community.
Advertisements and articles in the school newspaper, press releases, campus displays, and other media are used to communicate factual information about alcohol and drugs and related topics such as health and wellness, sexual assault, and sexually transmitted diseases. ASAP supports and partners with local higher education campuses to promote non-alcohol social events that compete with traditional drinking occasions.
Some media coverage is targeted to higher-risk groups such as fraternity and sorority chapters, freshmen, women, and students living in residence halls. CCAA also includes components aimed at faculty and staff, parents, and the local community, such as encouraging increased restrictions and monitoring of on-campus and off-campus alcohol use.