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About Screening & Brief Intervention (SBI)

Healthcare providers can reduce the impact of substance misuse, abuse and addiction with cost-effective screening and brief intervention.

Substance misuse, abuse and addiction contribute to a wide range of health-related problems, and lead to extensive legal, financial and emotional consequences for individuals, families and society. Healthcare providers are in a prime position to reduce these negative outcomes. Yet many healthcare providers report that addressing alcohol and other drug problems is one of the most challenging areas of their practice.

SBI can help

The evidence-based practice of Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) can be part of the solution. The first component of SBI is a valid and reliable short screen that can be administered in a variety of ways, followed by a brief intervention (as few as 3 minutes), if needed, based on the results of the screen. The brief intervention includes feedback about the screening results (what they mean for the patient and his/her health), concrete advice based on medical concern and low-risk guidelines, and support for the decision of the patient.

SBI views substance use as a continuum, not just a matter of being “addicted” or “not addicted.” It targets individuals who are using alcohol or other drugs in hazardous or harmful ways, but who are not dependent. Many people do not even know that they may be engaging in behaviors that put them and others at risk. These individuals have the ability to modify their behavior with feedback, information, advice and support. Of course, the process also identifies those in need of specialized treatment and can assist in motivating these patients to seek the help they need. Increasing data show that this brief process is cost-effective and reduces alcohol and other drug use and associated harm.

Free SBI services from The Council

How can a healthcare practice go about implementing its own SBI program? The Council has extensive experience in providing training, technical assistance and consultation to healthcare providers in the area of screening and brief intervention. These services are free to all healthcare practices in Bucks County and for a minimal cost outside of Bucks County.  Services can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual practice so that SBI can be implemented with minimal time and effort. We also assist in creating relationships with local treatment providers, county agencies and recovery support resources to help providers connect patients who need additional assistance.



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