What is BASICS and CASICS?

BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) and CASICS (Cannabis Screening and Intervention for College Students) are nationally renowned and peer reviewed programs designed specifially for college students to help them explore, in a non-judgemental environment, their decisions around alcohol or cannabis use to minimize its harmful effects in their life. BASICS and CASICS use a "harm reduction" philosophy with the purpose of reducing harm rather than telling students not to use alcohol or cannabis.

Meeting Structure:

BASICS & CASICS at Amherst consist of two private, one-to-one sixty minute sessions with Taya Westfield,  the Wellbeing Educator for Alcohol and Other Drugs. The two sessions occur approximately 10 business days apart.

SESSION I: An initial 60 minute session assessing the student’s alcohol and/or cannabis consumption patterns, history, and related issues. This session will end with a survey that will influence the conversation in Session II.

SESSION II: A follow-up 60 minute session providing personalized feedback based on screenings and discussion of ways substances impact their experience at Amherst.


If you have been referred to the BASICS/CASICS program, you will be provided with a link to schedule your two BASICS/CASICS appointments.