What is SBIRT?

SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment and is a comprehensive, public health approach to providing interventions and treatment to those with, or at risk of developing, a substance use disorder. It is an evidence-based practice supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA).  SBIRT is also a recommended intervention in the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health and the report from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

SBIRT begins with a person completing a brief screening tool designed to identify a person’s level of risk of developing dependence to alcohol or other drugs. Based on the results of their screening, participants receive feedback specific to their risk level. Those who screen at risk for experiencing negative consequences from their use of alcohol or other drugs are then challenged to think about the impact of their choices. Through unbiased motivational interviewing techniques, participants have an opportunity to reflect on the potential impact of their misuse and consider if they are ready to change their behavior. Participants then receive strategies that can help support low risk use of alcohol and safe use of medications. Students who screen at a high risk for dependence receive a referral to treatment services. Learn more about the research behind SBIRT.

ScreenU supports alcohol and drug prevention efforts on campuses by providing SBIRT in an online format to students. This method allows SBIRT to move beyond a clinical setting and be implemented in a variety of ways on your campus to identify students along the continuum of use, from misuse to dependency. If problematic alcohol or drug use is indicated, ScreenU provides students with recommendations to reduce their risk for experiencing negative consequences related to their use. It also helps students identify how alcohol and drug use negatively impacts their lives and if they are ready to make a change. ScreenU connects students to resources on their campus, giving them a plan for making changes to their behavior regarding the alcohol, cannabis, and prescription drug misuse.