Introduction to SBIRT
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment

SBIRT is an evidence-based, integrated, and comprehensive approach to the early detection of risky alcohol and drug use, as well as other disorders.
SBIRT screening form
A healthcare professional assesses a patient for risky substance use behaviors using standardized screening tools.

Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious problem affecting patients

Alcohol misuse accounts for 1 in 10 deaths of U.S. adults age 20 to 64 and is a critical factor in a wide range of health conditions such as hypertension, gastritis, liver disease and cirrhosis, pancreatitis, cancer, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression.

Substance abuse is a major risk factor for physical trauma including falls, drowning, vehicle accidents, homicide, and suicide.

The SBIRT Solution

Screening tools such as AUDIT, CRAFFT, and DAST-10 quickly assess the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment. Screening may occur in any healthcare setting.

Brief intervention, interviewing, and education increase insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivates patients toward behavioral change.

Referral to treatment is provided to those identified as needing more extensive treatment.

Value of SBIRT to Primary Care Physicians

  • Qualified non-physician practitioners such as LSWs provide SBIRT as a cost-effective solution to physicians for early intervention and treatment of their patients' substance abuse problems.
  • Screening patients for substance abuse disorders, providing brief therapeutic intervention, and referring to treatment when necessary has proven to be highly effective within the primary care setting to address drug misuse and unhealthy levels of alcohol consumption.
  • SBIRT can be easily and quickly (20 minutes on average) facilitated in primary care settings enabling healthcare professionals to systematically screen, educate, and assist people whose drinking or drug use is complicating their ability to successfully handle health, work, or family issues.
Care Matters offers SBIRT screening to assist physicians in the early identification of individuals with substance misuse disorders. Refer patients to contact us at 248-691-9034 or by sending an e-mail to