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SBIRT History

Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Programs at Howard University were birth out of The Alcohol Research Center (ARC) under the direction of Dr. Robert E. Taylor. The ARC was established in September 1997, with the overall goal to stimulate, strengthen and facilitate multidisciplinary research and collaborations to that will lead to the reduction of alcohol morbidity and mortality among minority populations with an emphasis on African Americans. 


SBIRT - Related Programs & Projects

  • Implementation Science for Community Based SBIRT Delivery to Older Adults: Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

This project applied an evidence-based system based on implementation science to develop a protocol to facilitate and sustain the delivery of Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment program by community-based organizations to prevent the misuse of alcohol and prescription medications and alcohol-medication interactions among older adults. The protocol addressed capacity issues through training and technical assistance and ongoing self-assessment.

  • Howard University SBIRT Medical Residency Program and Howard University SBIRT Medical Professional Program:

Funding Source: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • Know The R.I.S.K.

  • Raise the issue of substance use 

  • Inform the patient about healthy behaviors 

  • Screen for substance use problems 

  • Know how to offer brief intervention

  • Both programs aimed to provide residents, and other health care professionals students an exceptional quality education and training to be competent in the identification and management of substance use problems through appropriate screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment.

  • Howard University Hospital Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment Community Expansion Initiative:

Funding Source: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Howard University Hospital (HUH) in collaboration with Mary’s Center, a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Washington, D.C., are implementing a systematic program to address alcohol or other substance misuses among patients receiving services in their primary care or prenatal clinics, Emergency Department, or inpatient obstetrics, medical, or surgical units.  Specifically, we propose to provide universal Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in these settings; ensure linkage to and retention in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for those identified as needing treatment, and increase SUD treatment capacity, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Addiction Medicine Fellowship

 Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), this one-year interdisciplinary program is designed to educate and train fellows to prevent, recognize and provide care for persons with unhealthy substance use, substance use disorders (SUDs), and other addictive disorders.

African American and Asian women embracing at group therapy session, empathy concept, psyc

See What
Patients Are Saying About
The SBIRT Program

Patient Testimonials


When I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I sought help with the Howard University SBIRT Program. I’m glad I ended up at Howard because they treated me with respect, understanding and kindness as I began my long journey to sobriety. My life today is much more fulfilling because I live it with a clear mind and conscience.

Glenda K., Shepard Park, D.C.

It took me almost half a lifetime to come to the realization that addiction does not discriminate against anyone.
It doesn't recognize race, ethnic background, religion, or creed. It can attack everyone who isn't mentally and emotionally prepared. The SBIRT Team at Howard was able to help me to fully accept that I am an addict and then guided me on plotting a path to recovery through intervention and treatment. I know the road ahead will be filled with some potholes but I am thankful that I have a great support system taking this journey with me. Thank you HU SBIRT Team.

Stephen P., Largo, Md. 

Ten years ago, while at work, I injured my back on a construction site.  I went to the ER and the doctor prescribed  Vicodin. That was the start of my love affair with pills and almost a decade of doctor shopping, faking medical injuries, forging prescriptions, lying to family and friends, stealing and hopping from one recovery center after another. I never thought my life would turn out like this. Seven months ago, after yet another detox, I found the HU SBIRT Program. I don’t know what it is but my enthusiasm for recovery has returned. I am proud to say that I am clean and headed in the right direction for once in my life. I am grateful to the HU SBIRT Team for helping me. 

Nicholas C., Temple Hills, Md. 

Without the help of the dedicated staff members at the Howard University SBIRT Program, I would not be the person I am today. I am grateful I can say that I am on the road to full sobriety. It's definitely been a long journey but I am proud of the growth I have achieved throughout my recovery. Today my life is much better.  I have a home, a job, and more importantly, my health. I am appreciative for the continued support of this program and I thank you for everything you have done for me.

Tiffany M., Riggs Park, D.C. 

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