Underage alcohol consumption is a public health concern with numerous negative sequelae, including adoption of other risky behaviors (smoking, other drug use, at-risk sexual behavior, drinking and driving), increased rates of depression or suicidal ideation, poor academic achievement, and behavioral problems (delinquency, violence, crime). Adolescents who drink place themselves at higher risk for developing substance abuse disorders later in life, with risk levels increasing as age of initiatio of alcohol use decreases. Considerable evidence demonstrates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of alcohol-related screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) for adults. A growing body of evidence indicates that SBIRT is also effective as an early identification and prevention approach for reducing underage drinking. In 2011, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) collaborated with the American Academy of Pediatrics to issue the "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth Practitioner's Guide" for delivering SBIRT to youth aged 9-18. Over the last 8 years, Drs. McPherson and Goplerud, Co-PI and Co-Investigator on this project, respectively, have facilitated the Brief Intervention Group (BIG) Initiative, a consortium of all the major Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and affiliated managed behavioral health organizations (MBHOs);numerous employers;EAP and addiction clinical professional associations;SBIRT and motivational interviewing (MI) experts, researchers, and trainers;and representatives from federal and state agencies, with the goal of making SBIRT for alcohol problems routine practice across the EAP and behavioral health industry. Our BIG partners see the critical need for a widely available, low cost, competency-based training in alcohol SBIRT designed specifically for behavioral health practitioners. They are committed to the behavioral health practitioner solution for employees and, by extension, for an adolescent child of an employee. The proposed program will be developed as a stand-alone Web-based training, with content adapted from the evidence- based NIAAA adolescent alcohol screening guide for use in EAP/MBHO and allied behavioral health practice environments. Phase 1 will develop Sessions 1 and 2 addressing screening and brief intervention. The Phase 1 prototype program will be evaluated in a pretest-to-posttest randomized trial with EAP and behavioral health practitioners (N = 60). The completed Phase 2 program will include 12 30-minute training sessions (6 hours). This project will continue development of a series of programs to train EAP/MBHO and allied behavioral health practitioners in conducting alcohol-related SBIRT. We are currently developing a Web-based training program for EAP practitioners to provide SBIRT for alcohol problems among adults (Grant #R43AA021053).
Underage alcohol consumption is a significant public health concern that can have a number of negative effects on the youth and family. Addressing the risk behaviors associated with underage drinking costs the U.S. economy $27 billion each year. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and affiliated managed behavioral health organizations (MBHOs) are uniquely positioned to address this public health concern by conducting screening and brief intervention for adolescent children of an employee referred to them. This project will develop and evaluate an interactive multimedia competency-based training program for EAP and behavioral health practitioners to deliver screening of adolescent clients for alcohol use and the provision of a brief intervention or referral, when appropriate.