Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a public health initiative designed to impact health and other problems created or increased by the use of drugs and alcohol. Created by the World Health Organization, SBIRT has been around since the 1990s. It is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach based on universal screenings which create awareness about America's number one preventable health issue, substance use.
MAKING ARIZONANS HEALTHIER
SBIRT Arizona's mission is to motivate Arizonans to make changes to improve their health and life through universal screening and early substance use intervention.
SBIRT Arizona treats alcohol and drug use like the preventable healthcare issue it is. It is dedicated to the delivery of early prevention to people with, or at risk of developing, substance use disorders.
THE SAMHSA GRANT
SBIRT Arizona is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the Office of Governor of the State of Arizona, administered by the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services.
SAMHSA has been awarding SBIRT Grants since 2003. Northern Arizona was the recipient of a five year grant in July 2012.
The following are Northern Arizona organizations who currently implement SBIRT.
WHY DO WE NEED SBIRT?
- There are about 131 million adults who drink alcohol in the U.S.
- 28% or 37 million drink at levels that put them at risk for dependency, health problems, accidents or injuries or involvement in behaviors that are destructive (sexual assault, domestic violence, etc.)
- 2.4 million adults use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons
- Recreational drug use - about 35 million have used them at some point
HOW DOES SBIRT WORK?
Healthcare providers using SBIRT ask patients about substance use during routine medical and dental visits, provide brief advice, and then, if appropriate, refer patients who are at risk of substance use problems to treatment.
- Patient comes to the Emergency Department or Clinic
- Patient is asked two prescreening questions
- If patient gives an answer above “0” then she/he is asked to take a screening instrument (AUDIT or DAST)
- If score indicates “NO RISK” patient gets praise and that’s it
- If score indicates “low – moderate – high risk”, patient is asked if she/he would be willing to talk about his/her use or drinking
WHAT DO YOU GET FROM A SBIRT SCREENING?
SBIRT screens adults who may never seek mental health or substance use treatment, but are at risk. It provides educational information to help people understand:
- Standard drinks
- Safe drinking limits
- How drinking may contribute to health problems
- How prescription drugs or recreational drugs can be harmful