Professor of Social Work; Research Fellow, NY Academy of Medicine
Room 1119
212-851-2387

Allen Zweben

An authority on 12-step programs and other treatments for alcohol problems and other addictions, Dr. Zweben co-authored the respected textbook Treating Addiction: A Guide for Professionals. He often teaches courses in motivational interviewing (MI) to MSW students.


Dr. Allen Zweben is an expert in areas related to addiction medicine. His research focuses on innovative assessment and treatment approaches for substance use problems. From 1975 to 1986, Dr. Zweben served as director of Psychosocial Intervention Research at the Addiction Research Foundation, and as an associate professor at the University of Toronto. From 1986 to 2004, he served as professor and as director of the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In 2005, Dr. Zweben returned to the Columbia School of Social Work, his doctoral alma mater, where he serves as professor and as director of the Skills-Based Lab Project, a new program that accelerates students’ instruction in key areas and core functions of social work practice.

Dr. Zweben has conducted several multi-site landmark clinical trials, including Project MATCH, which matched clients with alcohol treatment; the COMBINE Study, which combined medications and behavioral treatments for alcohol problems; and most recently the ADVANCE Study, which tested the efficacy of Varenicline (Chantix) along with medication management (MM) for co-morbid problems of smoking and drinking. With Bill Miller and Alyssa Forcehimes, he is the co-author of a widely read textbook on the treatment of addiction, the second edition of which was published in 2018.

Dr. Zweben’s awards and recognitions include a proclamation from the Mayor of Milwaukee for distinguished contributions to research and public services; an appreciation from the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin Systems for dedicated services, scholarship, and distinguished contributions to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and a commendation from the Governor of Wisconsin for leadership in advancing alcohol and behavioral health sciences. Dr. Zweben holds a doctorate from the Columbia School of Social Work (1977).