Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Community Outreach in New York State

Implementing a novel SBIRT community outreach model to serve four historically marginalized populations in New York

Substance use is a significant yet preventable public health problem
Alcohol and other drug use is a significant public health problem. In fact, half of Americans 12 and older reported current drinking, 44.4% of which engaged in binge drinking and 12.8% in heavy drinking in 2020. Overdose deaths increased 28.5% between 2020 and 2021 alone and, for the first time, surpassed 100,000 in a 12-month period.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based substance use prevention and early intervention model that incorporates universal screening to identify risk and brief intervention to reduce use and prevent more severe consequences. Referrals to substance use disorder treatment are provided when warranted. Though promising results have been found when implementing SBIRT in medical settings, specific populations at increased risk for substance use disorders are less likely to seek medical care and will not receive these services.

Bringing screening and brief intervention into communities
The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) was awarded a five-year SBIRT grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement an innovative community outreach model to serve four historically marginalized populations: LGBTQ+ youth, rural residents, tribal communities, and recent immigrants. NORC is the lead evaluator and technical assistance provider for this project, working with OASAS, project partners, and community implementation sites to develop and tailor the model, develop and implement workflows, collect and analyze data, and evaluate the delivery and outcomes of the project.

Results will assist organizations in the implementation of this model
This SBIRT community outreach model is a rarely implemented approach with significant potential for increasing access to and utilization of evidence-based services among historically marginalized populations. The results of the project will demonstrate the extent of the effectiveness of this model, raise its profile among implementers and researchers, and inform states, localities, health systems, substance use disorder treatment providers, and other professionals on approaches to successful implementation.

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