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Higher Education Alcohol and Drug Strategic Unified Prevention (HEADS UP)

Three college students looking at Virginia ABC's online HEADS UP resources

College is generally a time in life of newfound independence and freedom from parental supervision. One major decision many students are faced with is the choice to experiment with alcohol and other drugs due to curiosity, perceived behaviors of their peers and additional influences within their campus-community.

The Higher Education Alcohol and Drug Strategic Unified Prevention (HEADS UP) program provides free online trainings, resources and materials to increase knowledge of substance misuse and high-risk drinking among college faculty/staff, students and their parents, and to build the capacity of student leaders to hold substance misuse education or awareness events. HEADS UP informs and equips these individuals to effectively promote healthy decision-making and advocate for substance misuse education and prevention programming on college campuses.

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HEADS UP offers free online training to increase the capacity of campuses to reduce high-risk drinking and alcohol harms. Get started today with the Virginia ABC Community Health & Engagement online training registration process or download presentations and lesson plans below to hold a training on campus.

Online Trainings

  • Alcohol Basics for College Students
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Training for College Faculty and Staff
  • Building a Campus-Community Coalition to Address High Risk and Underage Drinking

Training Materials

Educational Resources

HEADS UP offers a number of educational materials that provide information on various topics related to substance misuse. Our goal is for you to use the below resources to strengthen or support the education and prevention programming on your campus.

Promotional Materials

HEADS UP provides free promotional materials for institutions of higher education and community organizations working with college students.


  • Alcohol Education Basics Guide (PDF): This toolkit provides information for any group, organization or individual to use during trainings, activities and events. It provides facts on the risks and harms associated with alcohol and steps for making safe and healthy decisions.
  • Tips for Planning Your Alcohol Awareness Event (PDF): A great way to support your alcohol education initiatives is through sponsoring a resource fair. This provides a few tips for planning your alcohol awareness event.
  • Community College Resource Guide for Alcohol and Other Drug Education and Prevention (PDF): Virginia's community colleges face unique challenges in the education and prevention of substance misuse due to their structure, availability of resources and diverse population of non-residential students. This guide provides resources that can be helpful in addressing substance misuse and linking students to supportive community partners.




Additional Virginia ABC Resources

  • Virginia Higher Education Substance Use Advisory Committee: VHESUAC aims to create a statewide environment and culture that supports substance misuse prevention efforts among colleges and universities.
  • Publications: Our College and 21 and Older publications are free to order and download.
  • Grants: Alcohol Education and Prevention Grants provide funding to organizations that are working to prevent underage and high-risk drinking.
  • Project Sticker Shock: This community awareness program is designed to prevent people 21 and older from purchasing alcohol and providing it to underage individuals.

Outside Resources

Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students Initiatives: BACCHUS Initiatives is a collegiate peer education program that supports the achievement of students’ academic and personal success by building skills in student leaders to address campus health and safety issues.

Campus Drug Prevention: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provides institutions of higher education and their surrounding communities with resources to prevent drug abuse among college students.

College Drinking Prevention: This is a one-stop resource for information on issues related to alcohol abuse and binge drinking among college students. Here you will find CollegeAIM, a comprehensive tool used to identify effective alcohol interventions.

College Parents Matter: The Maryland Collaborative provides tools and resources to help parents have conversations with their college students about common situations that may involve high-risk drinking. 

Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility: FAAR leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision-making regarding alcoholic beverages.

Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery: HECAOD is the premier alcohol and drug misuse prevention and recovery resource for colleges and universities across the nation.

National Center for Safe Supportive Learning Environments: The NCSSLE helps schools and communities address issues such as harassment, violence and substance abuse.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: NIAAA supports and conducts research on the impact of alcohol use on human health and well-being. It is the largest funder of alcohol research in the world.

National Institute on Drug Abuse: NIDA's mission is to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.

National Social Norms Center: The National Social Norms Center at Michigan State University links best evidence with best practice to promote effective social norms marketing campaigns to improve health on college campuses.

Step UP!: Step UP! is a pro-social behavior and bystander intervention program that educates students to be proactive in helping others.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA’s mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness.

Virginia College Collaborative: VCC offers leadership and professional advice regarding the prevention of high risk, hazardous alcohol and other drug-related behavior.

Virtual Bar: Virtual Bar is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) calculator that allows you to customize your drinking experiences to safely learn how alcohol affects you before you start drinking.

360 Proof: 360 Proof is a comprehensive, evidence-based program that helps participating schools reduce the consequences of high-risk alcohol use and enhance collaboration between athletics and student affairs.

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Community Health & Engagement

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