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

SAMHSA offers early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, and those who are at risk of developing these disorders, through its Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) approach.

SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk of developing these disorders. Primary care centers, hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers, and other community settings provide opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users before more severe consequences occur.

  • Screening quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment.
  • Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.
  • Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care. 
Last Updated: 04/24/2014