Employed women with alcohol problems who seek help from employee assistance programs. Description and comparisons.

T. C. Blum, P. M. Roman, E. M. Harwood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

After a brief description of employee assistance programs (EAP), we present data collected from 6,400 employees from 84 worksites who used the services of EAPs, a portion of whom were assessed by the EAP as having alcohol-related problems and/or received scores on the Alcohol Dependence Scale (ADS) indicative of a potential alcohol-related problem. In addition, data were collected at intake from the EAP administrators, and employment status of the employee clients was assessed 18 to 24 months later. These data indicate that EAPs are effective in sustaining the employment of most women with alcohol-related problems who seek services from EAPs and that EAPs' goal of early intervention is especially realized among women with alcohol problems. Other conclusions include: women with alcohol problems do not enter EAPs through routes that are strikingly different from those of men; many of the gender differences that are revealed are associated with job status differences; employed women with alcohol problems are detached from nuclear families, with markedly low rates of current marriage; even when married, spouses are less likely to play a role in the referral of women with alcohol problems than the spouses of the men; and, there is no clear indication that women are the target of any form of discrimination in the process of EAP utilization. However, women are considerably more likely to have less adequate insurance coverage, according to the EAP administrators' assessment reported at client intake, than their male counterparts, leading to treatment choices that may be less than appropriate.

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