Hazelden adds program for college students

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2012 - 7:27 PM

Online program aims to prevent substance abuse and sexual violence.

Hazelden made another move in its strategy to reach young adults with the purchase this week of one of the nation's most comprehensive online alcohol and drug programs aimed at college students.

The Center City-based nonprofit acquired MyStudentBody from Newton, Mass.-based Inflexxion Inc. for an undisclosed price, describing it as a "robust, evidence-based program" to help reduce drug and alcohol abuse and sexual violence among students.

It is a series of courses developed over a decade with a $9.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The purchase is part of Hazelden's quest to reach out to "emerging adults," generally 18- to 25-year-olds who may be binge drinking or abusing drugs, said Kris Van Hoof, Hazelden's executive director of content management and innovations.

"There's just a dearth of services that address the lifestyle needs of that population and that really understand the maturity levels of these individuals," she said.

Earlier this year, Hazelden opened a housing complex in New York City for college students in recovery, called Tribeca Twelve. It also began work on a $30 million expansion of its residential facility in Plymouth that targets youths 14 to 25. The renovation will double the size of the center, adding beds for girls and young women as well as space for school, physical activities, art and music therapy.

Van Hoof said Hazelden is well positioned with treatment and follow-up support services, but had a "hole" in its continuum of care focusing on prevention and intervention efforts for young adults. The organization "went looking for a program" to complement its existing services before deciding to buy MyStudentBody.

About 95 colleges currently subscribe to MyStudentBody, which is used by about 30,000 students a year, as well as by parents and college administrators. Three Minnesota schools use the program, but Van Hoof didn't have permission to reveal their names.

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

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