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Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

What is Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)? 

An evidence-based, low-cost and member-friendly method approach to the identification, intervention and treatment of substance abuse problems.

What are the core clinical components of SBIRT? 

  1. Screening: Very brief to identify substance use, behavioral health issues and domestic violence
  2. Brief Intervention: Raise awareness of risks and motivate the patient toward acknowledging there is a problem
  3. Referral: When a risk is identified, the patient is referred for more intensive treatment
  4. Treatment: Cognitive behavioral work for patient to acknowledge risks

Why is SBIRT important? 

Research indicates SBIRT may:

  • Stem progression to independence
  • Improve medical conditions
  • Prevent medical conditions related to substance use, abuse and dependence
  • Decrease trauma related mortality

Did you know? 

Alcohol alone is a factor in up to 70% of homicides, 40-50% of fatal MVA’s, 60% of fatal burns and 40% of fatal falls.

Who supports SBIRT?

In an effort to expand and enhance state substance use identification and treatment, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) along with Absolute Total Care, the remaining Medicaid health plans, the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), and the South Carolina Quitline have partnered to develop provider training to assist with the identification, intervention and referral of our most vulnerable population, our pregnant Medicaid members, who may benefit from further substance use treatment.

SBIRT is also supported by the World Health Organization, American Preventative Task Force, American Trauma Nurses Association, American Medical Association and American College of Surgeons.


Below is a selection of materials for the SBIRT program, a part of SCDHHS’ Birth Outcomes Initiative, which works with hospitals and other partners to improve the health of mothers and babies in the Medicaid program:

SBIRT Materials

Universal Screening Tool
2015 Provider Presentation
Patient Health Questionnaire

DAODAS Materials

SBIRT DAODAS Referral Form
SBIRT DAODAS Consent for Release of Confidential Information Form
SBIRT DAODAS County Contacts

Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Materials

Tobacco Quitline Fax Referral Form
Tobacco Quitline Click to Call Flyer
Tobacco Quitline 2As+R Intervention Training 

South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) Materials 

SCDMH Referral Form
SCDMH Authorization to Disclose PHI Form
SCDMH SBIRT Contact List