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Preparing the Workforce to Implement SBIRT through Training, Technical Assistance, and Evaluation

The Employee Assistance Professional's Guide to SBIRT

The Employee Assistance Professional’s Guide to Screening, Brief Intervention and Treatment is a 200+ skill-based training manual on SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment). This Learner's Guide brings together the tools that employee assistance professionals (EAPs) and other helping professionals need to screen clients for unhealthy drinking, deliver effective brief counseling, refer and co-manage with addiction specialists for EAP clients with serious problems and provide successful case management and follow-up. 

By studying this Learner's Guide, you will be able to use Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) to:

  • Screen EAP clients for unhealthy alcohol use with brief, valid questionnaires such as the AUDIT-C and the AUDIT;

  • Deliver effective brief counseling informed by Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive-Behavioral techniques; 

  • Link clients to medical or specialty addiction treatment services as needed, and work with physicians and other specialists in ongoing care coordination; and 

  • Provide follow-up and recovery supports to help clients to remain productive at work.


You will also learn how to:   

  • Better understand the dynamics of the alcoholic family in order to support both the family members, as well as the EAP client, with alcohol-related issues;

  • Assess and treat older workers whose use of alcohol or prescription pain medications may create health and work-related problems;

  • Assess and treat young adult and adolescent employees whose drinking patterns are unhealthy;

  • Recognize special considerations for following SBIRT protocols with DOT-covered employees;

  • Connect clients to mutual support groups; and

  • Apply SBIRT techniques to other client concerns such as depression, anxiety disorders, drug use, medication misuse and tobacco addictions.

Hardcopies Available - $50
Health Professionals Learners Guide cover
Designed for the Adult Learner

This Learner's Guide is designed for the real world.  The program uses video and audio models of EAP situations, role play, and feedback so that clinicians can learn and practice new skills.

  • The program has many brief, 2 to 4 minute web training videos that show both appropriate and inappropriate SBIRT techniques.  The video examples use typical EAP situations in which the clinician can see counselors like themselves working with EAP clients who have alcohol and drug problems.

  • Supplementary materials such as questionnaires, practice scripts, clinical tools, research articles, and links to additional training resources are provided.

  • Appropriate for employee assistance professionals, addiction professionals, social workers, mental health counselors, professional counselors, psychologists and other helping professionals that are interested in learning about SBIRT.  

Curriculum Developers and Contributors

This training program is a collaboration The BIG Initiative housed at NORC at the University of Chicago and six national associations that represent EA and other clinical professionals treating working people with alcohol-related problems: 

​Dr. Eric Goplerud and Dr. Tracy L. McPherson

Dr. Eric Goplerud, Dr. Tracy McPherson and staff at the Center for Integrated Behavioral Health Policy and Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems at George Washington University and at NORC at the University of Chicago have been among the most visible leaders in the country.  They work with employers, health insurers, accrediting bodies and government agencies on policy, training and quality improvement initiatives that are transforming employers’ and health insurers’ approaches to detecting and treating alcohol, prescription opiate and illicit drug use.  

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Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA)

Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) is the world’s largest, oldest and most respected membership organization for employee assistance professionals.  With members in over 35 countries around the globe, EAPA is the world’s most relied upon source of information and support for and about the employee assistance profession.  EAPA publishes the Journal of Employee Assistance, hosts professional conferences and offers training and other resources to fulfill its mission.  EAPA’s mission is to promote the highest standards of EA practice and the continuing development of employee assistance professionals, programs and services.


NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals

NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals is the largest membership organization serving addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support and education.  With 8,000 members and 43 state affiliates, NAADAC's network of addiction services professionals spans the United States and the world.  NAADAC's members work to create healthier individuals, families and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment and recovery support.

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Center for Clinical Social Work (CCSW)

Center for Clinical Social Work (CCSW) promotes clinical social work as a profession that is highly respected and clearly defined in terms of the rights of its members, the standards to which they adhere and the unique abilities they bring to the challenge of helping others. 

AAAP logo

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) is an international academic society that was founded in 1985 with approximately 1,000 members.  AAAP's mission is to promote accessibility to the highest quality treatment for all who need it; promote excellence in clinical practice in addiction psychiatry; educate the public and influence public policy regarding addictive illness; provide continuing education for addiction professionals; disseminate new information in the field of addiction psychiatry; encourage research on the etiology, prevention, identification and treatment of the addictions. 

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American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is a professional society founded in 1954 that represents close to 3,000 physicians with chapters nationwide.  ASAM’s mission is to increase access to and improve the quality of addiction treatment; to educate physicians, other health care providers and the public; to support research and prevention; to promote the appropriate role of the physician in the care of patients with addiction; and to establish addiction medicine as a recognized medical specialty.  

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Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA)

Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) is a tri-national professional association (Canada, United States, and Mexico) with membership who are individuals, organizations, employers and students interested in advancing knowledge, research and best practices toward achieving healthy and productive workplaces.

NORC at the University of Chicago logo

NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago creates unique value for its clients by developing effective, innovative solutions that combine state-of-the-art technology with high quality social science research in the public interest. 

Additional Contributors

Many others contributed their time to researching, writing and editing this training program:


  • American Substance Abuse Professionals (ASAP) is a national provider of drug-free workplace and substance abuse risk management services.  ASAP supplies SAP and SAE evaluations for DOT and NRC regulated employees, substance abuse testing and training services for employers, and online training courses for providers.

  • Michael Brooks, MSW, BCD, has been a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1980.  He is the Director of Policy and Business Development for the Center for Clinical Social Work and the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.  Brooks is a former Board member of the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) and was a contributing author to the SBIRT training.

  • Kathryn Cates-Wessel is the Executive Director of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

  • Denise Ernst, PhD, is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in Motivational Interviewing and has extensive experience teaching EAP clinicians to use MI approaches that work with alcohol and drug problems. 

  • Abdel Fahmy, MD, CPHIMS, is board certified in Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Addiction Medicine.  Prior to his current position with the DuPage Medical Group, he served as the Regional Medical Director and Medical Director for Substance Abuse at ACCESS Community Health, the US’s largest community health organization serving the Chicago metropolitan area.  Dr. Fahmy has served as the Principal Investigator for multiple SAMHSA grants including an SBIRT grant for medical residents targeting three Chicago-area teaching hospitals.  

  • Denise Hall, MS, NCC, ASE, is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers with extensive experience training and implementing motivational interviewing and other evidence-based practices within organizations. 

  • Hanley Center Inc.’s mission is to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism, chemical dependency and addictive behavior, including support for related research and education, with a special emphasis on treating the substance use problems of older adults. 

  • Lee Mauk coordinates Blair Consulting Group’s drug and alcohol program consultations.  He develops and writes drug and alcohol programs and policies for employers, in compliance with state and federal laws, and reviews existing policies.  Mr. Mauk is especially knowledgeable and well-versed in the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations regarding drug and alcohol testing.  Lee’s nationally-acclaimed SAP training is a regular offering of Blair Consulting Group’s training courses.

  • Cynthia Moreno Tuohy is the Executive Director of NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals.  She has previously served as President of NAADAC, Certification Board Commissioner, International Chair, Treasurer and Legislative Chair for NAADAC.

  • National Association for Children of Alcoholics’ (NACoA) mission is to eliminate the adverse impact of alcohol and drug use on children and families by working to raise public awareness, providing leadership in public policy, advocating for effective education and prevention services and facilitating and advancing professional knowledge and understanding. 

  • Michele A. Packard, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and licensed addictions counselor.  She is the Executive Director of Sage Training & Consulting, providing continuing education training to the field since 1983.  She is a contributing author in the Motivational Interviewing text. 

  • Peer Assistance, Colorado State Employee Assistance Program and SBIRT Colorado provides clinical service and training organizations that delivers EAP and substance use screening, brief intervention, and treatment throughout the state of Colorado.  

  • Jan Price, LCSW, CEAP, is the Manager of Professional Learning Resources for the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA).  Price was former President (2007 & 2008) and Vice President (1997 & 1998) of the North Georgia chapter of EAPA.

  • Brie Reimann, MPA, is the Program Director for the screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment program in Colorado.  She is employed by Peer Assistance Services, Inc., a non-profit organization in Denver dedicated to providing quality, accessible prevention and intervention services in workplaces and communities, focusing on substance use and related issues.

  • Gerry Schmidt, MA, LPC, MAC, the Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Valley HealthCare System since September 1980, has been in the mental health and addictions treatment profession for over thirty five years.

  • SMART Recovery is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group.  Participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community, which includes free, self-empowering, secular and science-based, mutual-help support groups.

  • Misti Storie, MS, LPC, NCC, MAC, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Georgia and was the Director of Training and Professional Development for NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals. She developed webinars, training manuals and other educational products for addiction professionals.  

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