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Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

| December 21, 2014

Drug and alcohol misuse are a serious problem both nationally and in Lane County. Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug among youth in the United States. People who start drinking before age 15 are 5x more likely to develop abuse or dependence later in life than those who start after age 21. Between 2008-2010 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that nearly 25,000 Lane County residents aged 12 and older met the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence. Primary care providers are an ideal place to help identify and refer to treatment those Lane County residents, both adults and youth, with alcohol and/or drug dependence.

What is SBIRT?

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a recommended tool for providers to use to detect alcohol or drug related problems. SBIRT assists a provider in using a clinical framework to assess a patient’s risk, and in using motivational interviewing techniques to intervene and reduce (or eliminate) the risky behavior. Below are some tools to help you implement SBIRT into your practice.

SBIRT for Adults (ages 18+)

  • Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) put together this website, where you’ll find almost everything you need to implement SBIRT in a Primary Care setting. The website offers training videos, information on clinic flow, downloadable screening forms, exam room posters, and so much more.”
  • For more in-depth information on SBIRT for the Medicaid population and billing through OHP, the Oregon Health Authority created this  Guidance document.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also created this Implementation Guide, which can take you step by step through implementing SBIRT in your practice.

SBIRT for Adolescents (ages 9-18)

  •  The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) developed a specific SBIRT tool for adolescents ages 9-18 that aims to detect risk, not just problem behavior, at an early stage. This tool differs from the adult screening by asking about friend use – an early warning signal that strongly predicts the patient’s current or future drinking levels.
  • The screening tools, resources, and training materials can be found on the NIAAA website, along with additional information that can help providers with implementation.
  • Please review the resources listed under the SBIRT for Adults section above as they can also aid in guidance and clinic flow of SBIRT for Adolescents.
Pictured: Alcohol, drug and PHQ-9 (depression) screenings at a PeaceHealth primary care office in Eugene.

Pictured: Alcohol, drug and PHQ-9 (depression) screening forms at a PeaceHealth primary care office in Eugene.

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Category: Alcohol, Health Providers, Mental Health, Other Drugs

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