“Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment,” is an early intervention approach to help people with, or at risk of developing, substance use disorders before they need specialized treatment. Primary care centers, hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers, and other community settings serve as opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users before more severe consequences occur.
In the SBIRT process, individuals making their annual visits to providers complete a standardized questionnaire about risky substance use behaviors. Based on their answers, they may receive intervention feedback, motivation and advice or referral to treatment if warranted.
The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has published a guide to using and billing for SBIRT services under Medicare and Medicaid (PDF).
SBIRT may also be used by pharmacists, nurses and mental health providers, as illustrated by several Southern Regional Area Health Education Center videos: