SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment


SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment

According to a report on June 20, 2013, CADCA stated that:

–       By age 8, more than 37 percent of kids have sipped alcohol

–       By age 11, more than half of kids have sipped or tasted alcohol

–       By age 12, 66 percent of kids have tried alcohol.

Unfortunately, this behavior often goes unaddressed until a crisis occurs. The alcohol abuse of youth goes on until there is an incident to warrant punishment or intervention.  Therefore, early intervention for young drinkers is essential. Such early intervention is available in the form of SBIRT, or Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment.

According to SAMHSA, SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk for developing these disorders. Primary care centers, hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers and other community settings provide opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users before more severe consequences occur.

–       Screening allows practitioners to quickly assess the severity of substance use and identify the appropriate level of treatment.

–       Brief Intervention focuses on creating insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.

–       Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care.

SBIRT is brief (about 5-10 minutes for brief interventions and treatments), the screening is universal and it takes place in public health non-substance abuse treatment settings. Strong research supports the SBIRT model’s effectiveness in reducing risky alcohol consumption.

The Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris is happy to offer the first SBIRT training in Morris County to Morris County Student Assistance Coordinators on November 14, 2013 at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy. This training is the first step to ensuring that Morris County youth receive early intervention for their alcohol use.

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