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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
November/December 2009, Volume 17, Number 6 

photo of doctor looking at a patient

Normalizing Alcohol and Drug Screening in Colorado

José Esquibel has a dream: to make screening for alcohol and substance abuse problems as routine as diabetes screening in every health care facility in Colorado. And the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant the state received from SAMHSA in 2006 is helping to make that dream a reality.

“We really want to see SBIRT become standard practice in our state’s health care system,” said Mr. Esquibel, SBIRT Project Director and Director of Interagency Prevention Systems in Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment. Eight hospitals, six primary care settings, and eight HIV clinics across the state are already using the SBIRT approach. Funding for serving the HIV clinics comes from the state’s Ryan White CARE Act funding.

A project partner called the Colorado Clinical Guidelines Collaborative is helping to spread the word even more. This group of clinicians condenses best practices in various subject areas into two-page guides distributed to its network of physicians. “Doctors can see at a glance what they can be doing,” said Mr. Esquibel.

To further ensure sustainability, the project is also targeting health care payers. The state recently passed a law requiring that insurance companies in Colorado pay for alcohol screenings beginning in January 2010. And Mr. Esquibel is hopeful that the state legislature will agree to activate Medicaid billing codes in the next legislative session.

Now the project is taking the message to the public. The project’s Web site includes information about substance abuse plus an ask-the-expert feature. “We want to communicate to the public that someone should be asking them questions about how alcohol and drugs affect their health whenever they’re in a health care setting,” said Mr. Esquibel.

photo of SBIRT Colorado health educators at a team-building retreat

SBIRT Colorado health educators at a recent training and team-building retreat in Breckenridge, CO. SAMHSA funds the program, which is administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services/Division of Behavioral Health and managed by Peer Assistance Services, Inc.




  News & Updates  
Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Read more, view Webcast, and see photos.

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Study may help to highlight the need for public education about the Federal parity law.

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Entertainment industry and consumer leaders honored in Hollywood. Photo gallery.


  Publications  
TIP 52:  Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

TIP 52: Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

Improving counselors’ skills takes coaching and mentoring.

Guidelines: Responding to Mental Health Crises

Report offers principles for safe interventions.

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Cross-agency, unified approach is recommended.


  Grants  
Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Call for applications include Peer-to-Peer Recovery program.

Tribal Grants Awarded

In Montana, a tribal group recently accepted a “big check.”


  Homelessness  
New Research Available on Parenting

New Research on Parenting

SAMHSA staff recently guest-edited 11 articles that focus on parenting.

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

New, interactive Web site features a library of tools.


  Adolescents & Substance Use  
“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

Online toolkit helps family, teachers, and doctors keep teens from abusing prescription drugs.

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Fewer youth are using tobacco products.

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Age relates to teens’ perception of the danger of substance use.


  Suicide Awareness  
Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

Lifeline’s Twitter, Facebook numbers rise.


  Prevention Update  
Native American Center for Excellence

Native American Center for Excellence

Recent event included a hoop dancing demonstration.



  Also in this Issue  
Gender Differences in Adolescents

Gender Differences in Adolescents

State reports on behavioral health problems presented by gender.

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

Order free wallet cards in English and en español.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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