Tuesday, January 8, 2008

DUI Clients = More Alcoholic EAP Clients

Employees of your company, or the companies you serve may get arrested for drunk driving. How many do you find out about? And how can these employees become clients of the EAP, thereby boosting EAP utilization with every EAP's most valuable client--an alcoholic in recovery?

This year, establish a relationship with your local Alcohol Safety Action Program affiliated with the court. Build a relationship and encourage them to contact you directly when an employee of a company you serve is arrested for DUI. Let them know what companies you serve. You can use the referrals, manage treatment, and these folks will love you for it because they are always swamped. Being swamped and under-staffed means alcohol troubled DUI clients fall through the cracks. If they work for a company you serve behavioral risk continues.

Some ASAP offices will accept the EAP's assessment, recommendations, and with the client's permission, allow the EAP to do the follow-up. Most employees will readily accept a referral to the EAP when the ASAP counselor says, "By the way, we know you have an EAP with your company. The EA professional is so-and-so. We would like you to take advantage of the EAP's services. It's confidential."

The chances are that employees arrested for DUI are alcoholics. (Like you needed to hear that one.) This means your addiction utilization will go up. There is nothing more valuable to EAPs longevity and survival than helping alcoholic employees. Most EAPs don't see as many as they used to, and it is frustrating. As you know, ASAP clients don't usually end up in treatment. Education, yes. Treatment, no. Many get missed, or there is little incentive to deal with the full problem. That changes when you come into the picture.

If these DUI arrested employees do enter treatment through ASAP, it is usually a half-measured attempt that includes no follow-up worth a hoot, failed antabuse use, and the effectiveness of many treatment programs is poor without good follow up. Relapse is virtually certain. Alcoholics, and addicts are the most costly employees on a company’s payroll. So be a hero and start getting these referrals. I've done it. It works.

Call your ASAP office today. Meet to set up a cooperative relationship with staff, and test this utilization improvement strategy.