About this Service
As Phoenix House has always been fully committed to prevention and early intervention, it’s natural that we offer Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Treatment as developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). Typically delivered in Emergency Room Departments, medical/chronic care clinics and physician’s offices, Screening and Brief Interventions focus on working with patients whose drinking or drug use, even if it is in the moderate range, can lead to significant medical problems or decrease the effectiveness of medical treatment. Screening and Brief Interventions, when also paired with Referrals to Treatment, which Phoenix House has always done, is known as SBIRT – Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment. Therefore, SBIRT is a screening process designed to target individuals with nondependent alcohol or drug use and provide effective strategies for intervention prior to the need for more extensive treatment. SBIRT can also serve as a preventive activity designed to slow down use that could eventually lead to medical and/or mental health problems.
A key aspect of SBIRT is the integration and coordination of screening and treatment components into the greater system of health care services. This system links a community’s specialized treatment programs with a network of early intervention and referral activities that are conducted in medical and social service settings.
Phoenix House has also started the first program to deliver SBIRT in a public school system.
Screening is a quick, easy way to identify patients who need further assessment, a brief intervention or even treatment for substance use. It does not establish definitive information about diagnosis and possible treatment needs. The goal of SBIRT is to make screening for substance abuse a routine part of medical care.
Brief Intervention uses motivation-oriented discussion focused on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change. In single or multiple sessions, brief intervention can be tailored for different populations or settings and can be used as a stand-alone service for those at-risk as well as a vehicle for engaging those in need of more extensive levels of care.
Referral to Treatment
Referral to Treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care. The effectiveness of the referral process to specialty treatment is a strong measure of SBIRT success and involves a proactive and collaborative effort between SBIRT providers and those providing specialty treatment to ensure access to the appropriate level of care.