Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based, comprehensive, integrated approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for people with substance use disorders and people who are at risk of developing these disorders.
SBIRT is a public health practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol. Screening quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of response. Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioural change. Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to speciality care.
Hospital emergency rooms and trauma centers provide opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users before more severe consequences occur.
In October 2014, Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) implemented SBIRT for alcohol on its trauma units. The following videos provide more information about this initiative. For support to implement SBIRT at your site, please email Zahra Hussein, Injury Prevention Program Lead, VGH Trauma Services.
The Cutting Back program helps trauma center staff learn how to screen for risky alcohol drinkers and provide brief interventions that create lasting change in patients. This site provides the tools (interactive lessons, videos, expert tips, policy information, presentation materials, etc.) necessary to bring Cutting Back to your team, as well as, interactive training to equip your staff to conduct effective brief interventions.
The Emergency Nurses Association SBIRT Learning Module is a comprehensive training video and slide show aimed at Nurse-led SBIRT with Emergency Department Patients. Learning objectives include (1) summarizing SBIRT’s purpose (2) application and supporting evidence for reducing alcohol-related harm (3) defining the 3 steps of the SBIRT process including the FLO model for delivering brief interventions (4) discussing the skills necessary to effectively conduct SBIRT with patients and (5) explaining the purpose and functions of an SBIRT implementation team.