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WASBIRT: Washington Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment

What is SBIRT?

SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. SBIRT is a universal public health approach to integrate behavioral and primary health care. It is a way to increase awareness that substance abuse is preventable and that treatment works.  SBIRT can be provided in a wide variety of medical and community healthcare settings.


SBIRT is a tool to universally screen and identify people with mild to severe substance use disorders (SUD). Person's identified by SBIRT screening are given a brief intervention (BI) by a medical professional.  The BI addresses the individuals substance use and assists with establishing a plan to reduce use in the future. When indicated, patients are referred to specialty care for their substance use disorder.


Universal SBIRT can effectively reduce the severity of substance use disorders and improve health outcomes for patients. It will also decrease the risks of injury and negative life consequences, like DUIs or job loss. SBIRT uses motivational interviewing to assist patients with making positive behavioral changes related to their alcohol or drug use.


In addition to identifying and intervening with people who have mild SUDs, SBIRT also identifies individuals with moderate to severe SUDs and works to connect them to substance use treatment options. SBIRT services also connect behavioral and primary health care to effectively meet the needs of individuals.

For More Information

Earl Long (DBHR)
Program Director
Ph:  360.725.9985