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Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Program

The CAPS alcohol and other drug (AOD) program offers services to students whose substance use affects their life goals or influences their mental health. Services include assessment, therapy, consultation, provision of resources, as well as referral to other services both at Purdue University and in the community. Many of these services are integrated with other CAPS services.


CAPS staff are committed to creating a non-judgmental and safe environment for Purdue students who would like to reflect on their relationship with substances. Our emphasis is on a harm-reduction approach that matches students’ developmental stage and on supporting students in attaining their self-identified substance use goals.




CAPS AOD assessment is integrated with other therapy services and ranges from brief screening questions to a full-fledged evaluation of a student’s lifetime AOD use.


  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy: In Spring 2021, CAPS started a recovery support group for Purdue students who are interested in exploring their relationships with substances. Additional information will be posted on the CAPS Group Therapy page. The recovery group will be based on harm reduction approaches and SMART Recovery principles. Please call CAPS for additional information about joining this group. 


CAPS AOD team are available to consult with Purdue students and staff, specifically around issues related to substance use.


The overall focus of CAPS is on the provision of services through a time-limited outpatient therapy model. Paramount in this is connecting students to services that offer them the best chance of success. Therefore, we will facilitate referrals to an appropriate program in the community (Lafayette, Indianapolis, or at other locations) when students need detoxification services, addiction treatment, or medication-assisted opioid recovery. Similarly, we will facilitate referrals to therapists in the community for students who need more frequent or longer-term individual therapy services than CAPS can offer.

Care Management

Students who would like support in connecting to campus and community AOD resources can make use of our CAPS Care Management services.

Mandates AOD Services

CAPS no longer offers AOD evaluations for students mandated to attend such an evaluation as part of Purdue University disciplinary sanctions or court sanctions. CAPS AOD services are not a substitute for any court ordered or university sanctioned program and therapists will not write letters for court-related or Purdue University disciplinary AOD issues.

Letter Writing Services

CAPS therapists will not write letters for court-related or Purdue University disciplinary AOD issues. The only exceptions are letters for students who previously completed a mandated AOD evaluation at CAPS. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, in most situations CAPS is required by law to obtain your written permission to use, disclose, or release your protected health information and/or treatment records.

Getting Started

Students interested in CAPS AOD services can start this process by scheduling a brief phone screening appointment

Further Information

For more information, call 765-494-6995. For further questions about the services offered by the CAPS Alcohol and Other Drug Program, please contact Drew Zaitsoff, Ph.D, HSPP, AOD Coordinator & Staff Therapist. As Purdue University’s email is currently is not encrypted to HIPAA standards, students should use Purdue University Filelocker in case they need to share confidential mental health information.


AOD Resources

  • Self-help: 
    • Numerous self-help apps are available on both the Android and iOS platforms, for example:
      • AA 12 Step App - Steps Toolbox
      • Addiction Quotes and Sayings
      • Craving to Quit: A 21 day program based on a successful smoking cessation program developed and tested at Yale University
      • I am Sober
      • No More! Quit Your Addictions
      • Pocket Rehab: Get Sober & Addition Recovery
      • Quit Vaping
      • Recovery Path for Addiction
      • Sober Time - Sober Time Counter & Clean Time Clock
      • Sober Tool - Alcoholism, Addiction, Sobriety Help
      • Sobriety Counter - Bad Habits
    • Some students may benefit from using self-help books on better managing substance use, for example:
      • The Addiction Recovery Skills Workbook: Changing Addictive Behaviors Using CBT, Mindfulness, and Motivational Interviewing Techniques (Susan Glasner-Edwards, PhD; New Harbinger Publications; 2015)
      • The Addiction Recovery Workbook: Powerful Skills for Preventing Relapse Every Day (Paula A. Friedman, PsyD; Althea Press; 2018)
      • The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress, and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors (Rebecca E. Williams, PhD & Julie S. Craft, MA; New Harbinger Publications; 2012)

Campus AOD Resources

Community AOD Resources


Information for Students Affected by the Substance Use of a Loved One

Seeing a friend or family member struggling with substance addiction is difficult on its own.  It can be helpful to have someone to talk with who is unconnected to the situation, whether that’s an individual therapist at CAPS or peers who have had similar experiences.  Al-Anon is one such group; it’s different than Alcoholics Anonymous because instead of being a group for people with substance addictions themselves, it’s for people who are looking for the support of people who have had similar experiences. Other similar support groups are Alateen (for young people aged 13 through 18 and Adult Children of Alcoholics®/ Dysfunctional Families.