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SAMHSA News - March/April 2007, Volume 15, Number 2

Screening, Referral Tools Available Online

A new SAMHSA Web site——is offering updates and news about the Agency’s screening initiative.

Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) logo - click to view SBIRT Web siteThe Web site supports SAMHSA’s Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) program. The national initiative is funded by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). (See SAMHSA News online, January/February 2006.)

The SBIRT site—home to a complete set of program-related tools—adds another facet of support to SAMHSA’s screening and treatment efforts. “This new site will allow grantees across the Nation to have immediate access to SBIRT resources,” said Tom Stegbauer, M.B.A., Lead Public Health Analyst at CSAT’s Division of Systems Improvement. “We continue to focus on helping programs provide patients with access to treatment.”

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Access to Resources

The new Web site has various resources for SBIRT grantees, including training manuals, links to organizations and publications, and a list of references. In addition, members of the public can learn more about the initiative by viewing the site’s news updates and answers to frequently asked questions.

The SBIRT site will be updated as more tools, resources, and information become available. To access program resources, or obtain more information on the initiative and its grantees, visit www.sbirt.samhsa.govEnd of Article

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What Is SBIRT?

SAMHSA’s Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) initiative delivers early intervention and treatment services to people with or at risk for substance abuse disorders.

Screening is done by peer health educators in emergency rooms, trauma centers, and health clinics as people wait for services for other medical conditions. Friendly and nonjudgmental, the educators wear surgical scrubs just like other ER staff. Educators create “teachable moments” to encourage people to undergo screening. This process is particularly effective for those alcohol and drug users with nondependent substance abuse—a group the traditional system has largely ignored. End of Article

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What's New?

The SBIRT Web site recently posted a publication on alcohol screening in trauma centers.

cover of Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) for Trauma Patients:  COT Quick Guide - click to view reportExcessive drinking is a risk factor for injury, and a high proportion of at-risk drinkers end up in trauma centers. Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) for Trauma Patients: COT Quick Guide is designed to help trauma centers screen at-risk patients.

Trauma center staff can use the guide’s helpful hints and ready-to-use screening instruments to take advantage of the teachable moment generated from an injury. Screening and brief interventions are associated with fewer hospital days and fewer emergency department visits.

The guide was prepared in part by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (COT) and SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. To access a PDF of the guide, visit of Article

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SBIRT: Step by Step

SBIRT follows a three-step process.

Step 1

Screen Patients

Screening quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment. It can be done through an interview and self-report.

Step 2

Conduct Brief Intervention

Brief intervention focuses on increasing a person’s awareness of substance use as well as encouraging changes in behavior.

Step 3

Refer to Treatment

Referral to treatment offers access to care for individuals who are in need of treatment for substance abuse.

SBIRT services can be used along with specialized and traditional treatment. Screenings take place in trauma centers, emergency rooms, community clinics, health centers, and school clinics. As of January 2007, SAMHSA grantees have screened more than 460,000 people. End of Article

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Inside This Issue
Social Security Benefits: Outreach, Access, and Recovery
Part 1
Part 2
Promising Practices
Resources on Homelessness

From the Administrator:
Obtaining Benefits, Attaining Recovery

Funding Opportunities

Stop Underage Drinking - Portal of Federal Resources Surgeon General Issues Call to Action

Ads, Billboards Highlight Younger Children

Reach Out Now Educates Teachers, Students

President's Budget Sustains Key Programs

National Outcome Measures

Transforming Housing for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Arab Americans & Muslims Assess Emotional Well-Being

Evidence-Based Practices: Online Registry

Screening, Referral Tools Available Online

Recovery Month Web Cast en Español

Treatment Update: Increasing Motivation

Inhalants Report

DAWN Report

Workforce Development Resources


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SAMHSA News - March/April 2007, Volume 15, Number 2