Edward Wahesh, M.S., N.C.C., director of the Alcohol and Other Drug Education (AODE) Program at Fordham, has been appointed co-chair of the New York City Colleges and Universities Alcohol and Other Drug Consortia.
The Statewide College Consortia is a professional organization funded by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and is comprised of prevention specialists, health educators, substance abuse counselors and administrators from New York colleges and universities. The consortia coordinates workshops to help develop professional programs and effect policies on substance abuse issues. Wahesh is the first representative from Fordham to be appointed chair of the New York City consortia.
“This is a really great opportunity for Fordham to get our name out there in the field, and to help implement some new initiatives,” said Wahesh.
In his role as director, Wahesh attended the New York City Council’s Nightlife Safety Summit to increase safety in the bar and club scene, and is currently working with neighboring colleges and the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to implement the summit’s findings in and around New York City college campuses.
Fordham’s AODE program has also implemented a nationally known program, BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening Intervention for College Students), for students who violate alcohol policies on campus. Effective prevention, Wahesh said, also takes an environmental or systemic approach to the problem.
“If you want to influence someone’s behaviors, you can target directly with education or you can change the environment they live in, limiting the factors that contribute to these behaviors,” he said. “These strategies are promising practices, and I’d like to look at how we can incorporate these initiatives into our prevention programs at Fordham and around the city.”
The AODE program coordinates substance abuse prevention, education and early intervention to help students with substance abuse problems. It offers counseling and intervention, and seeks to change campus cultural norms related to the use of alcohol and other drugs.
– Janet Sassi