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SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) represents an innovative, evidence-based approach to addressing unhealthy alcohol use with primary care patients. Its core components entail:
  • Regular and universal screening in the medical setting.
  • Systematic use of validated/standardized screening instruments.
  • Consideration of substance use as a continuum rather than a dichotomous "dependent versus not dependent" judgment.
  • Use of patient-centered change talk versus directive, prescriptive talk.
  • Facilitating smooth, bidirectional transitions between primary care and specialty addiction treatment.

Alcohol SBI ranks among the highest-performing preventive services based on cost effectiveness and health impact, yet it remains one of the least-implemented. Physicians cite barriers that include limited time during the patient visit, lack of knowledge and training, fearing negative patient reactions, and feeling uncomfortable discussing substance use. This website presents information and tools designed to counter these barriers, and emphasizes a team-based approach to implementing SBIRT processes that includes nurses, social workers, medical assistants, and other medical professionals.

This website also addresses drug use in order to help clinics achieve performance targets set by the Oregon Health Authority, as part of the Coordinated Care Organization incentive measure, "Alcohol and Drug Misuse (SBIRT)."