NMSU WAVE, UTEP LAHDR hosts alcohol safety seminar


Mitchell Allred

WAVE focuses on issues of personal safety and well-being.

New Mexico State University’s Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education program [WAVE RX] along with the University of Texas at El Paso held an informational seminar about alcohol safety and general safety knowledge at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Feb. 5. 

The WAVE program focused on wellness in general. The group also spread information about violence prevention. Piper Coalson the health education specialist and leader for WAVE RX said her goal is to educate kids on being safe when they drink. 

“We want to give students a chance to learn more about alcohol and safety,” Coalson said. 

The Latino, Alcohol and Health Disparities Research and Training Center  of UTEP’s psychology department helped spread the information as well. LAHDR Training Director Patricia Juarez  and Training Coordinator Reyna Puentes presented at the seminar. 

There basically are two parts to it. One is research and that focuses on alcohol use and people who make changes about their alcohol use. The other part is training, and Patricia and I handle this because we have gone through a process where we have been trained to talk about it,” Puentes said. 

The LAHDR group has existed for five years at UTEP. They also have program similar to WAVE RX called the Collegiate Recovery Program. 

“We trained their [Collegiate Recovery Program’s] interventionists in our strategies and we collaborated with them as well. They hold events too. For example, they are having an event over spring break and we are helping them out by training their volunteers. We work closely with the on-campus groups” Puentes said. 

WAVE does not just focus on alcohol abuse. They cover a multitude of areas that all college students should know about such as drug and domestic abuse 

WAVE RX is a grant that we get and it is for five years. I work on the prevention of underage drinking and prescription opioid abuse. The RX in the name stands for prescription opioids,” Coalson said. 

WAVE and LAHDR have been putting on this seminar for the past two years. WAVE also conducts student surveys twice a year that polls students alcohol consumption and how they can improve. 

“Our goal is to make those numbers better to see that students aren’t binge drinking and driving, Coalson said. 

The seminar started out as something that was more aimed toward professors and teachers so they could raise alcohol awareness and notice if their own students may need help. 

“Our main target is 1825-year-olds but we absolutely encourage this information to be passed around to everyone who needs it,” Coalson said. We just want to solidify what people already know about alcohol. 

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