The purpose of the SAMHSA grant "Training Medical and Dental Students in SBIRT” (PI: Frances Levin, MD), is to integrate the components of "Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)” for substance abuse, including illicit and prescription drugs, alcohol and smoking, into the curriculums of the Columbia University College of Physician and Surgeons, and College of Dental Medicine. SBIRT is a brief interview performed with patients what allows of clinicians (doctors, dentists, nurses, etc.) to have the patient disclose any at risk behaviors, provide brief counseling and provide them with a feasible treatment option or plan.
The primary aim of the project is to train the Medical and Dental students, starting with the 2015 first year class, in the use of SBIRT and follow them through graduation. The project objectives also include an initiative to provide community outreach and resources to individuals outside of the participant University students, to be trained in the use of SBIRT.
College of Physician and Surgeons, Columbia University
College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York
What Is SBIRT And Why Use It?
Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services. It is used to identify and intervene with -
- Persons with substance use disorders
- Those whose use is at higher levels of risk
Primary care centers, hospitals, and other community settings provide excellent opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users and for intervention for persons with substance use disorders.
SBIRT stands for:
- Screening: Universal screening for quickly assessing use and severity of alcohol; illicit drugs; and prescription drug use, misuse, and abuse
- Brief Intervention: Brief motivational and awareness-raising intervention given to risky or problematic substance users
- Referral to Treatment: Referrals to specialty care for patients with alcohol and substance use disorders (may consist of brief treatment or specialty treatment)
Why is SBIRT important?
- Unhealthy and unsafe alcohol and drug use are major preventable public health problems resulting in more than 100,000 deaths each year.
- The costs to society are more than $600 billion annually.
- Effects of unhealthy and unsafe alcohol and drug use have far-reaching implications for the individual, family, workplace, community, and the health care system.
The primary goal of SBIRT is to identify and effectively intervene with those who are at moderate or high risk for psychosocial or health care problems related to their substance use.
- A growing body of evidence about SBIRT’s effectiveness—including cost-effectiveness—has demonstrated its positive outcomes.
- The research shows that SBIRT is an effective way to reduce drinking and substance abuse problems.
- By intervening early, SBIRT saves lives and money and is consistent with overall support for patient wellness.
- Late-stage intervention and substance abuse treatment is expensive, and the patient has often developed comorbid health conditions.