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So, Just How Important Is SBIRT?

In short, very.

  • Unhealthy and unsafe alcohol and drug use are major public health problems that are preventable, resulting in more than 100,000 deaths each year.
  • Nearly 25 percent of the population uses drugs or alcohol in a way that will put them at risk at some point in their lives, whether that be in the immediate future or years down the line.
  • Effects of unhealthy and unsafe alcohol and drug use have far-reaching implications for the individual, family, workplace, community and the health care system.

Ultimately, the primary goal of SBIRT is to identify and effectively intervene with those who are at risk for psychosocial or healthcare 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 misuse problems.
  • By intervening early, SBIRT can save lives and money and is consistent with overall support for patient wellness.
  • Late-stage intervention and substance misuse treatments are expensive, and by that point, the patient has often developed comorbid health conditions that could have been avoided with earlier treatment.