Paul Sacco received his MSW from Arizona State University in 1995, and practiced for 10 years as a psychiatric social worker. In 2005, he returned to complete his PhD in Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and joined the faculty of the School of Social Work in 2009.   

His research focuses primarily on behavioral health and addictions with a focus on life course development, alcohol use disorders, problem gambling, tobacco use, and behavioral health integration.  

Sacco combines his behavioral health research with an interest in the training of social work students in evidence-supported behavioral health interventions. He served as the Project Director of a SAMHSA-funded Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) Training program (2014-2017) and continues to provide training in this public health approach. He also directs the BHWISE-Lifespan Fellows Program, a HRSA-funded workforce development project focused on integrated behavioral health training.

Sacco teaches in the foundation and clinical practice areas. He also teaches structural equation modeling in the PhD program. As an educator, he endeavors to support students in learning the latest from research while helping them to recognize the core elements of effective social work practice.



Society for Social Work and Research 
Council on Social Work Education 
National Association of Social Workers 
Research Society on Alcoholism 
Gerontological Society of America 


Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=iWFT8nkAAAAJ&hl=en 

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul-Sacco 

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2800-9571 

Web of Science: https://www.webofscience.com/wos/author/record/H-4960-2011 

Expertise & Interests

  • Alcohol Use and Health
  • Pathological and Problem Gambling
  • Behavioral Health and Aging
  • Behavioral Health Workforce Development
  • Latent Variable Modeling
  • Nicotine and Tobacco Use

PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, 2009 
MSW, Arizona State University, 1995 
BA, Fordham University, 1989 

Recent Publications

Ting, L., Sacco, P., Emery, L., Moreland, M., Peffer, R., Anvari-Clark, J., Tennor, M., Welsh, C., & DiClemente, C. (accepted). Pre-Training SBIRT Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Social Work Students and Medical Residents. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions. 

Wimberly, A. S., Petros, R., Sacco, P., Tennor, M., Murray-Browne, S., & Arikat, L. (2022). Factors that contribute to stigma toward opioid users among social work students. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533256X.2022.2103982  

Magill, M., Mastroleo, N. R., Kuerbis, A., Sacco, P., Thombs-Cain, G. E., Wagner, E. F., & Velasquez, M. M. (2022). Practice Makes Perfect: MSW Students Reflect on Skill-Based Teaching Methods in Clinical Social Work Education. Journal of Social Work Education, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2022.2103605