What Is SBIRT

SBIRT is an evidence-based approach to identifying and delivering early intervention and treatment to people with alcohol and substance use disorders (SUDs) and those at risk of developing these disorders.

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SBIRT Components

  • PrescreeningUniversal screening will occur at initial intake to identify substance use and co-occurring mental health for all patients in the targeted primary care centers. Prescreening reduces the time for identifying patients seen in high volume primary care settings.

  • Screening – Patients are asked questions from various screening tools to assess patient’s use of alcohol and substance use.

  • Brief Intervention (BI) –  To engage individuals and increase their knowledge about drugs and/or alcohol use/misuse. It may take as little as five minutes. BI consists of having a short motivational conversation with the patient aimed toward reducing risky substance use.

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) - The use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.

  • Case Management - coordinate case management services for patients, including Veterans to address obstacles in treatment access, housing, and related services including assisting uninsured patients in applying for health insurance.  

  • Brief Treatment (BT) - To work on immediate risky behavior while addressing long-standing challenges with harmful drinking and/or drug misuse. It can vary in number of sessions, from 2-12, depending on the individual needs of the patient.

  • Referral to Treatment (RT) - The referral to treatment process consists of assisting a patient with accessing specialized treatment, selecting treatment facilities, and helping navigate any barriers such as treatment cost or lack of transportation that could hinder treatment in a specialty setting.

SBIRT Is An Evidence-Based Approach To Intervention & Treatment

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Why SBIRT

  • SBIRT supports an overall emphasis on health and wellness

  • SBIRT can decrease the incidence and severity of alcohol and drug use

  • It helps to change how substance use is viewed

  • Early Intervention is effective in reducing alcohol and substance use 

  • Enhance patient care and increase patient satisfaction 

  • Build public awareness and provide patient education 

  • Address and improve public health needs, and culture shift 

  • Reduce stigma and barriers to behavioral healthcare 

  • Can be adopted into a wide range of settings 

  • Cost-effective care and approach in reducing healthcare costs 

  • Patient-centered and individualized treatment 

  • Prevent health and other adverse consequences for risky users 

SBIRT Is A Highly Flexible Intervention

  • Aging/Senior Service

  • Behavioral Health Clinic

  • Community Health Center

  • Community Mental Health Center

  • Addiction Services

  • Emergency Department

  • FQHC

  • Homeless Facility

  • Hospital

  • Inpatient Units

  • OB/GYN Clinic

  • Primary Care

  • Psychiatric Care Clinic

  • School-Based Student Health

  • Trauma Center/Trauma Units

  • Urgent Care

  • Veteran’s Hospital

  • Other Agency Sites

Screening Clinical Tools

  • Low-risk drinking guidelines 

  • Algorithm Card

  • Drink Card

  • “Do You Know” card (Pocket Guide)