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Counseling Center

Discussing Our Choices

What is Discussing Our Choices?

Discussing Our Choices is a program for students who want unbiased information about alcohol and drugs and are interested in exploring their own choices about using them. Since the program is educational in format, the presenters take no position on what the participants choose for themselves.

The program satisfies an educational experience requirement from Judicial Affairs.  

Where are sessions held? 

All sessions are held at the Counseling Center, located in Simmons Hall 306, and are limited to 14 persons. 

When are sessions held? 

Currently scheduled times for Spring 2014 are: 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 18, 5-7p
  • Tuesday, March 11, 5-7p 
  • Monday, March 17, 10a-12p
  • Thursday, April 3, 3-5p 
  • Weds., April 16, 2-4p
  • Tuesday, April 22, 5-7p
  • Friday, May 2, 10a-12p
  • Wednesday, May 7, 1-3p  

As more persons want to register, more dates will be added. 

Call 330-972-7082 to register. 

Who runs the sessions? 

All sessions are run by professional staff at the Counseling Center. 

Is it confidential? 

Yes. The program is confidential as per the rules for psychologists. This means that if a student wants us to inform anyone that he or she attended, we would have to have written instructions to do so. Without written instructions to disclose your attendance, we will not even acknowledge we know who you are to outside persons. 

We will have a confidentiality form for you to sign at the beginning of the session if you would like us to inform anyone (typically Student Judicial Affairs) of your presence. We do not relate what transpired or what you said, only that you participated in the program. Note that while we ask all the students participating in the workshop to keep what they hear confidential, the other students are not bound by the confidentiality rules that the staff must follow. 

How long is the program? 

No more than two hours. 

What is covered in the workshop? 

  • Participants must complete the e-Chug information/assessment program that is available through our website prior to attending the program.  The information students enter into the program is anonymous and no one at The University of Akron will know a student's responses.  To do e-Chug go to http://www.uakron.edu/counseling/alcohol/ . After you interact with the program you must print either your entire results or the summary of your results (the summary is prefererd as you will be able to find information more easily), and bring these to the group to be admitted. 
  • The program uses audience response "clickers" so that participants can answer questions as a group anonymously.  This has greatly improved the meeting because we can start with what the group of participants really do.
  • In the introduction we cover the confidentiality issue, describe the workshop and briefly ask each person why he or she is attending.
  • Second, there is an interactive presentation about what constitutes dangerous and safer alcohol use, what constitutes abuse patterns and a brief assessment of the participant's use of alcohol and other drugs. You do not have to tell anyone how you scored, including the staff. At the end of the second section, you should be able to actually do a rudimentary substance abuse assessment because you know what is -- and isn't -- involved in substance abuse.
  • Third is an educational lecture/discussion of other substance use issues such as marijuana use, issues with other drugs including steroids, date rape and the drugs used for date rape.
  • Fourth we go through all sorts of drinking and drug use scenarios to define safer patterns as well as what is dangerous. 

Does the program attempt to sell any particular point of view?

Without preaching what to do, the program does demonstrate a preference for safer over dangerous activities. For example, the risks of gross intoxication, "drunk fights," and even the risks of drinking hard alcohol directly out of the bottle are covered.  The decision about what each student plans to do around substance use is his or hers to make. The format of the workshop is centered around presenting information concerning harm reduction and allowing the student to decide what is best for him or her. 

Do I have to be referred by Judicial Affairs to attend? 

No. Anyone can attend on a voluntary basis. If a student is mandated by a court to attend an "education program," attendance at this educational group may be sufficient. The court mandating the education program will be informed of the student's participation, if the student directs us to do so in writing. If you choose to keep your attendance confidential, no one will be informed of your presence.

 

 

The University of Akron's "Discussing our Choices" program is based on the University at Albany's award winning "Discussing our Choices" program, originally developed by Daniel Trujillo, PhD. Special thanks to Emily Mowry, PhD. (Ohio Wesleyan University) and Flora Casallas, Psy.D., CASAC (University at Albany) for their help in developing this program. 

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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