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About DEA’s Employee Assistance Program


  1. What is an Employee Assistance Program?
  2. What kinds of services are offered by the DEA’s Employee Assistance Program?
  3. What kinds of problems can I take to the EAP?
  4. How would I know if I should seek help from the EAP?
  5. Who can use EAP services?
  6. What are the Qualifications of the EAP’s Staff?
  7. How much do EAP Services cost?
  8. Can the EAP provide Medication or Psychological Testing?
  9. Is there a limit on how often or for how long the EAP can be used?
  10. Is the EAP truly confidential?
  11. Will using the EAP affect my Security Clearance?
  12. Does DEA support the EAP?
  13. Where are EAP services available?
  14. How do I contact the EAP?

1. What is an Employee Assistance Program?

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential service that provides employees and their family members with help for personal and work-related problems through a team of licensed mental health professionals.

EAP’s have their foundation in three simple concepts:

  • Personal and work-related problems are a “normal” part of life and affect most of us at one time or another.
  • The distress and distraction that these problems cause often adversely affects our ability to work safely and productively.
  • It is cost-effective for an employer to help us (and our families) to identify and resolve such problems as quickly as possible.

Quite simply stated an Employee Assistance Program is a partnership that works for the mutual benefit of its’ Agency, its Employees and their family members. By helping an Employee or a member their family to do better, their employer, in turn, is rewarded with a workforce that is safer, more focused and more productive.


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2. What kinds of services are offered by the DEA’s Employee Assistance Program?

While most people think of an EAP as a “Counseling Service”, the EAP actually has four “Service Clusters” to assist DEA Employees and their families:

I. Counseling… The EAP will provide up to six counseling sessions with a Licensed Mental Health Professional in your geographic area. If the problem is not resolvable in that time frame, or if specialized services are needed, an appropriate referral will be made.

II. Training… Each year, the EAP provides over 200 prevention and education workshops throughout the DEA. Our programs are designed to help prevent problems before they start, and to resolve early-stage problems before they get larger. Topics include EAP Orientation, Substance Misuse, Stress Management and 28 more.

III. Assistance for Managers… Unlimited, first-person consultations are available to all DEA Managers for personal and workplace issues from either their local Area Clinicians or the EAP staff at DEA Headquarters.

IV. Emergency Intervention… The EAP maintains a 24-hour, Toll-Free HelpLine that provides emergency consultation any time of the day or night. The EAP’s Trauma Team responds to all operational traumatic incidents and is available to all DEA Employees and families to support them through personal traumas. Victims of Operational Traumas receive mandatory Clinical Briefings from an EAP Clinician within 48 hours of an incident.

* For detailed information on these EAP services click on the Services link here.

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3. What kinds of problems can I take to the EAP?

The EAP is prepared to assist with almost any type of problem (or question) that you or a member of your family might have. We can help you clarify sources of personal distress, find solutions that reduce or resolve problems or identify specialized sources of assistance when problems are beyond the scope of our in-house expertise. Some of the problems commonly brought to the EAP include:

  • Work Issues
    • Stress/Morale
    • Peer/Supervisor/Employee Conflicts
    • Illness/Disability/Leave
    • Performance/Conduct
    • Reassignment/Retirement
  • Martial/Family Conflict
  • Separation/Divorce/Single Parenting
  • Stress/Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief/Loss/Loneliness
  • Substance Abuse
  • Parenting/Children’s Issues/Special Needs.
  • Elder Issues/Illness/Disability/Special Care

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4. How would I know if I should seek help from the EAP?

The EAP is available to you at any time for any reason. There is no single “right answer” to this question that fits all people. However, we suggest that professional help should be sought when you or a family member have emotional distress or problems that you are unable to resolve after using your usual coping skills and support network.

If you are experiencing, or see an increase in, the occurrence of one or more of the following, you might consider contacting the EAP for an appointment:


  • Anxiety, nervousness, tension, stress
  • Sadness, despondency, depression, worry
  • Moodiness irritability, anger
  • Recurrent illness, or physical symptoms without medical explanation
  • Substance misuse or abuse
  • Recurrent difficulty dealing with feelings or situations

At Work…

  • Frequent mistakes/Accidents
  • Missed deadlines
  • Bad decisions/Errors in judgment
  • Complaints from customers/supervisors/peers
  • Alternating periods of high and low productivity
  • Difficulty in concentrating, handling complex assignments, or recalling instructions or details
  • Problems with attendance
  • Problematic relationships with peers
  • Difficulty with bosses or subordinates

At Home…

  • Difficulties with family or friends
  • Aggressive or hostile interactions
  • Frequent conflict and arguments
  • Overreacting to real or imagined criticism
  • Withdrawal or avoiding others
  • Pathological coping (drinking/overeating/gambling)
  • Worsening debt/Compulsive shopping
  • Behavior, school or relationship problems with children

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5. Who can use EAP services?

The Employee Assistance Program is available to all:

EAP Services are available to:

  • DEA employees
  • An employee's spouse (including those from valid common law marriages)
  • An employee's children under the age of 27 including:
    • legally adopted children
    • stepchildren
    • recognized natural (born out of wedlock) children
    • foster children living in a regular parent-child relationship with the employee 
  • An employee's child of any age who is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical disability 
  • Other family members or unrelated persons living with the employee in a "family-member-like" capacity
  • TFOs seeking services due to their involvement in operational traumatic incidents

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6. What are the Qualifications of the EAP’s Staff?

All EAP Clinicians are Master’s or Doctoral level licensed, Mental Health Professionals. Each time a service request is made, a Clinician is chosen specifically for you or your family member based on the type of problem assistance is being requested for, your geographic location and any other factors important in providing you with the best possible service.

EAP Division Area Clinicians must be experienced in working with law enforcement personnel and families and trained in trauma response. Area Clinician-Trainers are each certified by our Curriculum Developer/Trainer for training competency in each EAP Workshop they present to our personnel. All persons receiving EAP services are asked to participate in post-service surveys to continuously evaluate and assure the quality of our staff.

* For more information on this issue click on the Staff link here.

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7. How much do EAP Services cost?

There is never a charge for any service provided to you or your family by the EAP. However, should the EAP refer you to another provider or program for specialty care or extended services, you, or your Private Health Insurance must cover the cost of that care.

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8. Can the EAP provide Medication, Psychological Testing or Written Statements?

Unfortunately not. The Program’s founding guidance limits the EAP functions to “consultation, problem assessment, brief intervention, specialty referral and crisis intervention”. We are neither staffed nor funded to provide medical or forensic evaluations, psychological testing or any form of written report or statement.

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9. Is there a limit on how often or for how long the EAP can be used?

The EAP can provide up to six sessions of brief counseling for any problem you request our assistance with. There is no limit on the number of different problems that you or your family may address with us. While our clients typically use less than the six session maximum, should it become necessary that more than six sessions are required, we will refer you to an appropriate community resource for assistance under your Private Health Insurance.

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10. Is the EAP truly confidential?

Federal and State Laws prohibit the EAP and its’ staff from sharing any information on you, your EAP contact or the nature, content or duration of your assistance from the Program, unless directed to do so by you in writing. Before receiving EAP services, however, all Clients you must agree to allow their Clinician (as required by Federal law and professional ethics) to disclose a limited amount of confidential information if any of the following occur:

  • You intend to take your life
  • You intend to take the life of another person
  • You have abused/neglected, or pose a risk of, abusing or neglecting a minor or elder
  • You have a bona fide medical emergency while seeing the Clinician
  • The EAP receives a valid Court Order (after review and validation by DEA Chief Counsel)

For more detailed information on this issue, click on the Confidentiality link here ."

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11. Will using the EAP affect my Security Clearance?

No! EAP Participation does not disqualify you from holding a Security Clearance at any level. Even though every 5 years, EAP participation other than Clinical Briefings and marital, family and grief counseling, must be reported on your SF-86 (Security Clearance reapplication), this will only allow OPM to ask the EAP one question, “Are they a threat to National Security?” Unless the answer is, ”Yes!”, no other information about you may be shared.

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12. Does the DEA support the Employee Assistance Program?

The EAP would not and could not exist without the full and unqualified support of the DEA and its’ Executive Staff. The DEA understands that the diminished performance, negative attitudes and emotional distress experienced by Employees with personal problems can also adversely affect the morale and productivity of an entire Group or Office. By helping Employees to recognize and resolve their personal problems through its’ Employee Assistance Program, the DEA facilitates individual wellbeing and preserves focus and motivation in its’ workforce as a whole. In this way, DEA’s EAP is a win-win program for everyone.

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13. Where are EAP services available?

EAP services are available to all DEA Employees & eligible family members residing in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Caribbean. For personnel assigned in or near DEA Headquarters or Divisional Offices, services are provided by the EAP Area Clinicians hired to support that Division. Click on the Area Clinician Roster link here to locate the Area Clinician nearest you.

For outlying service areas the EAP maintains a list of “Remote Clinicians” to which it is constantly adding new providers. As a rule, the EAP tries never to make an Employee or family member travel more than 30 minutes for services unless absolutely necessary because of the remoteness of their assignment. (Call the EAP’s 24 Hour HelpLine at (800) 275-7460 to locate an EAP Remote Clinician near you.)

When overseas, assessment, counseling and referral is the joint responsibility of the Department of State and the Employee’s Private Health Insurance though the EAP Headquarter’s Staff is available for management consultation, emergency telephonic phone consultation and limited traumatic incident response.

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14. How do I contact the EAP?

Call the EAP’s 24 Hour HelpLine at (800) 275-7460

For counseling appointments, after-hours emergencies and questions regarding the EAP Training Program.

Call one of your Division’s Area Clinicians directly…

If you are in or near a Divisional Office and desire a counseling appointment or management consultation. Click on the Area Clinician Roster link here to locate the Area Clinician nearest you.

Call the EAP Program Office at DEA Headquarters at (202) 307-8160

For general questions regarding EAP policies or operations, stateside and overseas management consultation, trauma response, or Headquarters counseling appointments.

Call the DEA Command Center at (202) 307-4228

For after hours emergencies and to report traumatic incidents.

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