Description of Strategy
The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) model is an evidence-based practice to develop community-based screenings for health risk behaviors, including opioid use disorder. Using the SBIRT model, clinicians can help prevent prescription drug abuse by helping patients recognize whether a problem exists, and working with them to find a solution. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2017), it consists of three primary components:
Screening — a healthcare professional assesses a patient for risky substance use behaviors using standardized screening tools. Screening can occur in any healthcare setting.
Brief Intervention — a healthcare professional engages a patient showing risky substance use behaviors in a short conversation, providing feedback and advice.
Referral to Treatment — a healthcare professional provides a referral to brief therapy or additional treatment to patients who screen in need of additional services.
Within Wyoming, SBIRT services are provided at the discretion of the individual healthcare provider, although little information is available on how many practitioners are implementing SBIRT. SBIRT is reimbursable by Wyoming Medicaid and Medicare, and there are many trainings and resources available at no cost.
Discussion of Effectiveness
Not only is SBIRT cost-effective, but there is substantial empirical evidence that suggests it is an efficient method for evaluating potential opioid use disorders (Bernstein et al., 2005; Madras et al., 2008). When used in appropriate settings by a qualified healthcare professional, it is associated with both adherence to treatment programs and a reduction in substance abuse (Saitz, 2010; Young et al., 2014; Babor et al., 2017).
Babor, T. F., Del Boca, F., & Bray, J. W. (2017). Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment: Implications of SAMHSA’s SBIRT initiative for substance abuse policy and practice. Addiction, 112(S2), 110–117.
Bernstein, J., Bernstein, E., Tassiopoulos, K., Heeren, T., Levenson, S., & Hingson, R. (2005). Brief motivational intervention at a clinic visit reduces cocaine and heroin use. Drug Alcohol Dependence, 77(1), 49–59.
Madras, B. K., Compton, W. M., Avula, D., Stegbauer, T., Stein, J. B., & Clark, H. W. (2009). Screening, Brief Interventions, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for illicit drug and alcohol use at multiple healthcare sites: Comparison at intake and 6 months later. Drug Alcohol Dependence, 99(1-3), 280–295.
Saitz, R. (2010). Candidate performance measures for screening for, assessing, and treating unhealthy substance use in hospitals: Advocacy or evidence-based practice? Annals of Internal Medicine, 153(1), 40–43.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017). SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment.
Young, M.M., Stevens, A., Galipeau, J., Pirie, T., Garrity, C., Singh, K., Yazdi, F., Golfam, M., Turner, L., Porath-Waller, A., Arratoon, C., Haley, N., Leslie, K., Reardon, R., Sproule, B., Grimshaw, J., & Moher, D. (2014). Effectiveness of brief interventions as part of the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) model for reducing the nonmedical use of psychoactive substances: A systematic review. Systematic Reviews, 3(50), 1–18.