Workplace alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT): A survey of employer and vendor practices

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health


Volume 24, Issue 3


Alcohol; Workforce Issues


Alcohol abuse and dependence is recognized as one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Alcohol is the most widely used substance among working adults, and almost 80% of risky drinkers are employed. Health care costs associated with alcohol problems exceed major chronic diseases. Employers bear economic and other burdens from untreated alcohol problems: productivity losses, increased absenteeism, tardiness, and poor work quality. There is overwhelming scientific evidence of the effectiveness of alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) for detecting and treating people with alcohol problems in medical settings (e.g., emergency), a setting that presents numerous teachable moments. The effectiveness in nonmedical work-related settings (e.g., employee assistance, work-life) is unclear. A review of the literature suggests there has been little attention paid to adaptation of alcohol SBIRT for the workplace, a setting where millions of working adults spend most of their day. This research aims to identify and describe employer and vendor SBIRT practices and promising approaches feasible for adaptation and dissemination in a variety of work-related settings.

Peer Reviewed