About MASBIRT TTA

MASBIRT is the Massachusetts Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment – Training and Technical Assistance program. We're funded by the MA Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS).

MASBIRT supports BSAS' ongoing efforts to establish SBIRT practice as a standard of care in diverse healthcare settings throughout Massachusetts by providing implementation and sustainability guidance, along with skills training and coaching for all levels of clinical and administrative personnel. MASBIRT uses diverse teaching methods and ongoing technical assistance, troubleshooting, and coaching.

The MASBIRT TTA team has provided local, regional and national SBIRT training and education. In addition to MASBIRT TTA staff, several SBIRT expert consultants are available to assist with training and technical assistance, as needed.

MASBIRT History

MASBIRT began in 2006 under a cooperative agreement from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the State of Massachusetts, Department of Public Health within the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS).  BSAS contracted with faculty and staff at Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine to implement the program in 3 medical centers and 5 community health centers in the greater Boston area. 

Over the course of the five year cooperative agreement, MASBIRT hired and trained health promotion advocates to perform universal SBIRT in outpatient clinics, inpatient units, emergency and urgent care departments, and specialty clinics including adolescent, dental, and Ob/Gyn clinics.  MASBIRT health promotion advocates conducted 173,758 SBIRT encounters.

  • 81.8% screened negative for risky or unhealthy alcohol and other drug use, and
  • 18.2% screened positive, which breaks down into the following categories:
    • 14.9% brief intervention indicated
    • 1.4% brief treatment indicated, and
    • 1.9% referral to treatment indicated.

MASBIRT TTA builds upon the experience of the MASBIRT program to disseminate SBIRT into diverse healthcare and public health settings.