SBIRT: An Effective Approach

Studies show that SBIRT is a proven approach to identifying and providing early intervention for individuals at risk for developing substance use disorders.

SBIRT has been credited with reducing or averting:

  • serious medical illnesses
  • injury
  • costs associated with alcohol use
  • substance use disorders


SBIRT reduces alcohol and drug misuse

The US Preventive Services Task Force (2009) found SBIRT effectively reduced heavy drinking episodes in adults and resulted in:

  • reduced weekly alcohol consumption
  • 12% fewer adults reported heavy drinking episodes, and
  • 11% of adults reported drinking less than the recommended limits over a 12 month period.

A 2009 article in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence found a 68% reduction in illicit drug use over a six-month period among individuals who had received SBIRT services.


SBIRT is cost-effective

According to SAMHSA:

  • Multiple studies have shown that investing in SBIRT can result in healthcare cost savings that range from $3.81 to $5.60 for every $1.00 spent.
  • People who received screening and brief intervention experienced fewer: