Screening Positive

What if the screen is positive?

Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

  • Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) was developed by The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment as an evidence-based method for identifying at-risk alcohol and substance use2,3
  • Screening is performed using a validated, standardized screening tool2
  • Brief intervention is initiated for patients who screen positive based on the tool
  • Can consist of a 3-5 minute conversation or more in-depth counseling
  • Referral to treatment consists of providing the patient with additional treatment resources
  • Multiple randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of integration of SBIRT into primary care settings in reducing alcohol use4
  • Additional information can be found at

What resources are available for referral to treatment?

  • National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service
  • 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
  • Additional resources for alcohol use disorders, screening, and treatment referral can be found under the resources section
  1. Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much.  Retrieved January 15, 2014 from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Web site:
  2. SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. Retrieved January 15, 2014 from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Web site:
  3. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women. Treatment Improvement Protocol Series 2009: 09-4226.
  4. Moyer, A. et al (2002).  Brief Interventions for Alcohol Problems; A Meta-analytic Review of Controlled Investigations in Treatment Seeking and Non-treatment Seeking Populations. Addiction 97. 279-292.

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January, 2014