- About MASBIRT TTA
- SBIRT information
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive, integrated, public
health approach for early identification and intervention with patients whose patterns of alcohol and/or
drug use put their health at risk.
Research shows SBIRT to be most effective with patients with unhealthy alcohol or drug use who do not have a substance use disorder.
Unhealthy alcohol and other drug use are among the most common causes of preventable morbidity and mortality. Despite their frequent presentation in healthcare settings, unhealthy alcohol and other drug use often go unrecognized. While there is substantial research on the effectiveness of SBIRT on alcohol use, there is less research on the impact of SBIRT on other drug use.
Unhealthy substance use can complicate existing chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases or mental health disorders and interact with prescribed medications.
Research has shown that large numbers of people whose patterns of use put them at-risk of developing alcohol or drug problems can be identified through screening (Babor, Substance Abuse 2007).
SBIRT has been found to:
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening and behavioral counseling interventions to reduce alcohol misuse by adults, including pregnant women, in primary care settings. The National Quality Forum (NQF) endorses outpatient annual alcohol screening and recommends a systematic approach be used to identify drug use. The Joint Commission currently has optional quality standards that require unhealthy substance use identification and management in inpatient settings.
Substance use (alcohol and drug) occurs on a continuum from no or low risk use to substance use disorders. Effective interventions are available for people at all points on that continuum. In most cases, unhealthy substance use issues can, and should, be addressed in general healthcare settings.
Unhealthy substance use is an all-encompassing term that includes the full spectrum of unhealthy use from:
Some people should not drink at all.