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Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based, low-cost, and member-friendly method approach to the identification, intervention, and treatment of substance abuse problems. It is part of part of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Birth Outcomes Initiative, which works with hospitals and other partners to improve the health of mothers and babies in the Medicaid program.

In an effort to expand and enhance state substance use identification and treatment, SCDHHS, along with Absolute Total Care, the remaining Medicaid health plans, the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), and the South Carolina Quitline, have partnered to develop provider training to assist with the identification, intervention, and referral of our most vulnerable population, our pregnant Medicaid members, who may benefit from further substance use treatment.

SBIRT is also supported by the World Health Organization, American Preventative Task Force, American Trauma Nurses Association, American Medical Association, and American College of Surgeons.

Importance of SBIRT 

Did you know? Alcohol alone is a factor in up to 70% of homicides, 40-50% of fatal MVA’s, 60% of fatal burns, and 40% of fatal falls.

Research indicates SBIRT may:

  • Stem progression to independence.
  • Improve medical conditions.
  • Prevent medical conditions related to substance use, abuse and dependence.
  • Decrease trauma-related mortality.

SBIRT Core Clinical Components 

  1. Screening: Very brief to identify substance use, behavioral health issues, and domestic violence.
  2. Brief Intervention: Raise awareness of risks and motivate the patient toward acknowledging there is a problem.
  3. Referral: When a risk is identified, the patient is referred for more intensive treatment.
  4. Treatment: Cognitive behavioral work for patient to acknowledge risks.

SBIRT Resources

For SBIRT resources, please visit the SCDHHS SBIRT website.