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SAMHSA News - March/April 2008, Volume 16, Number 2

Screening in Action

For SBIRT Grantees Across the Nation, Flexibility Helps

By Rebecca A. Clay

One of the main advantages of the SBIRT model is its flexibility: You can use it just about anywhere.

That flexibility is reflected in the wide range of settings involved in the SBIRT Initiative. Because each grantee has multiple projects, more than 125 sites are now participating nationwide.

In California, for instance, the state’s Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs is offering SBIRT in primary care clinics, federally qualified health centers, and emergency rooms and trauma centers.

In Florida, the Department of Children and Families is focusing on older adults, which means bringing the SBIRT approach to such settings as senior nutrition programs, public health settings, primary care offices, and similar venues.

The New Mexico Department of Health uses telehealth technology to conduct clinical interviews and provide counseling to patients across the large, rural state.

The Initiative’s campus-based grantees are using the model at a wide range of schools. At Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA, for example, the SBIRT model features bilingual clinicians who understand the community’s Portuguese culture and work to eliminate its high rate of heroin use.

At the University of Hartford, Connecticut, the SBIRT program focuses primarily on students referred from the university’s judicial office for violations of its alcohol and substance abuse policy.

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville offers students the opportunity to participate in its SBIRT program when they open their university email accounts.

What do these programs look like in action? Read about two grantees—one from Alaska and one from Massachusetts.

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