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News & Highlights

SBIRT Issue Brief Explores Proven Alcohol and Drug Screening Approach 

Drug and alcohol misuse and abuse incur great costs to American society in personal illness, hospitalizations, motor vehicle injuries, premature deaths, and many other areas. In fact, an Office of National Drug Control Policy study estimated that in 2011 substance use accrued a societal cost of $193 billion. 

One solution to address these great costs - SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) - has proven success in identifying, reducing, and preventing problematic use, abuse, and dependence on drugs and alcohol. Designed for easy use by any trained healthcare professional, SBIRT is a simple screening approach that can be used in a variety of healthcare settings such as community health centers and hospitals. Cost benefit analyses have indicated that it can lower healthcare costs; severity of drug and alcohol use; risk of trauma; and the percentage of at-risk patients who go without specialized substance use treatment. 

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) has developed an issue brief on SBIRT for primary care and behavioral health professionals. SBIRT: Opportunities for Implementation and Points to Consider provides an overview of SBIRT's benefits and core components, opportunities for implementation in healthcare settings that have become available through the Patient Protection and Affordably Care Act, and potential obstacles to implementation.



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