First Step

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First Step is a harm-reduction program through the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives.  First Step provides brief alcohol and drug interventions for students who are experiencing negative consequences as a result of alcohol and other drug use/abuse.  The First Step program understands that students use and abuse alcohol and other drugs as a way to cope with stress, unwanted or uncomfortable feeling, social tensions, and low self-esteem.  First Step offers students a safe place to begin exploring the underlying motivations for their use patterns.  First Step offers each student the opportunity to:

  • Talk openly about issues involved in her/her alcohol and other drug use within the context of a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment.
  • Increase self-awareness of personal alcohol and other drug behaviors.
  • Identify alcohol and other drug patterns and potential for risk.
  • Gain encouragement and support in making self-directed changes in his/her alcohol and other drug use.
  • Focus on harm-reduction tactics that can help keep negative consequences and health risks at a minimum.
  • Learn about additional resources that are available on campus to support students.

Students can refer themselves or be referred by College House deans, the Office of Student Conduct, Student Health Services, academic advisors, peers, the court system, and other university staff/faculty.  Again, First Step is a confidential option for students who are experiencing negative consequences as a result of their alcohol and other drug use.

To make an appointment to meet with Ken Galazka, the First Step intervention specialist, please call 215-573-3525.  Or you can e-mail Ken at kgalazka@upenn.edu.