Substance Abuse in Vocational Rehabilitation Screener2 (SAVR-S2)
The SAVR-S2 is a brief screener validated for use with clients with disabilities, to identify high or low probability of substance use disorders, including alcohol, illicit drugs, and misuse of prescription medications.

Ages – 18 years and up
Reading grade Level: 5th
Accuracy is 86% Based on empirical studies
15 minutes to administer

Why SAVR-S2?

Assessing whether or not a person has a substance use disorder (SUD) is important in Vocational Rehabilitation as well as many other treatment settings. In addition to providing useful information to counselors regarding treatment needs and resource planning, screening and subsequent intervention can save lives and lead to improved treatment outcomes.

• Designed for, and validated with, adult clients with disabilities who were receiving vocational rehabilitation services: The aim of the SAVR-S development and validation project was to develop a brief and accurate substance use screening instrument that would accommodate the needs of clients with disabilities.

SAVR-S was created in consultation with specialists in the VR field. Adding items about prescription medication misuse and modifying the wording and reading level were in response to the suggestions of experienced VR counselors (Heinemann et al., 2008). A defensiveness (DEF) scale measuring the extent to which clients minimized acknowledgment of problems was added to the revised version of the SAVR-S – SAVR-S2 at the request of VR counselors. Overall accuracy of the SAVR-S2 in a sample of VR clients who were receiving psychological evaluations was 86% (see also, Heinemann et al., 2008).

• Wide-range screening: SAVR-S2 combines questions about alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription medications as well as a scale measuring defensive responding in a single questionnaire.

• Quick: On average, the SAVR-S2 takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.

• Ease of Use: SAVR-S2 is a paper questionnaire completed by clients then faxed by counselors for electronic scoring and generation of a report. The report includes the overall screening result, identification of key issues for individual clients, and recommendations for further conversation with clients or referral for more comprehensive assessment, if warranted.

• Subtle items: SAVR-S2 includes items whose content does not have an obvious relationship to substance use disorders. These items make it more difficult to create a false impression, and increase the accuracy of the screening. In addition, items measuring clients’ defensive responding were included on the SAVR-S2 to alert counselors to the possibility that clients’ acknowledgement of problems may have been minimized. No other brief SUD screening instrument has these features.

• Built-In Objectivity: The SAVR-S2 can be very helpful as an objective piece of information – especially if a client exhibits defensiveness about his or her substance use.

Heinemann, A. W., Lazowski, L. E., Moore, D., Miller, F., & McAweeney, M. (2008). Validation of a substance use disorder screening instrument for use in vocational rehabilitation settings.Rehabilitation Psychology, 53(1), 63-72.

Heinemann, A. W., Moore, D., Lazowski, L. E., Huber, M., & Semik, P. (2014). Benefits of substance use disorder screening on employment outcomes in state-federal vocational rehabilitation programs. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin 57(3), 144-158.

Email to request a copy of these studies.

Product Information

The SAVR-S2 includes use of the Scoring & Report Service, User’s Guides, automated scoring, screening results report, and accompanying support materials.

The SAVR-S2 User’s Guide Includes:

  • Non-technical, step-by-step information on administering the SAVRS-2
  • Information on the development and validation of the SAVR-S2
  • Basic information on interpreting reports and resources for referral services

For more information about how to administer call us at 800.726.0526.