A Brief Intervention for At-Risk Drinking in an Employee Assistance Program

Published in: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, v. 69, No. 1, Jan. 2008, p. 14-20

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Karen Chan Osilla, Steven P. Zellmer, Mary E. Larimer, Clayton Neighbors, G. Alan Marlatt

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OBJECTIVE: The current pilot study examined the preliminary efficacy of a brief intervention (BI) for at-risk drinking in an employee assistance program. METHOD: Clients (N = 107) entering the employee assistance program (EAP) for mental health services were screened and met criteria for at-risk drinking. EAP therapists were randomly assigned to deliver either the BI plus EAP services as usual (SAU) or SAU only. Participants in the final analyses consisted of 44 BI + SAU (30 women, 14 men) and 30 SAU (21 women, 9 men) EAP clients who completed a 3-month follow-up. RESULTS: Results suggested that participants in the BI + SAU group had significant reductions in peak blood alcohol concentration, peak quantity, and alcohol-related consequences compared with the SAU group. Men in the BI SAU group had greater reductions in alcohol-related problems compared with men in the SAU group. Groups did not differ by number of total EAP sessions attended or rates of presenting problem resolution. CONCLUSIONS: Results provide preliminary evidence to support the integration of alcohol screening and BI as a low-cost method of intervening with clients with at-risk drinking in the context of co-occurring presenting problems.

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