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.
Medicare entitles beneficiaries to yearly alcohol screenings by a PCP and up to four behavior
Since 2004, the U.S. Prevention Service Task Force has recommended that SBIRT be provided to each patient in general medical settings.
Federal agencies such as the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have recommended SBIRT for routine use.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded that SBIRT is a necessary means for early detection of illness or disability.
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.