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SAMHSA Awards $22 Million to Expand Screening and Brief Intervention Programs


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced it is awarding more than $22 million in new funding to expand implementing screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT). This is an innovative approach to delivering early intervention and treatment services for people with substance use disorders and those at risk for developing them.

The program will be used to expand SBIRT for adults in primary care and community health settings, Newswise reports.

SBIRT helps identify people at risk for, or with, underlying substance abuse problems that might otherwise go undetected and untreated. People who report misuse of alcohol and drugs through SBIRT receive brief intervention that addresses harmful behaviors. They also receive referral to treatment, if needed.

“Screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment has been shown to be highly effective in connecting those who need help with substance abuse to treatment strategies to meet their needs,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. “The SBIRT programs funded through these cooperative agreements can help many in need of substance abuse treatment to get on the road to recovery quickly and enhance their overall health and well-being.”

Recipients of the SBIRT funding are the State of New Jersey, the Arizona Governor’s Office, and the Iowa Department of Public Health. Each awardee will receive up to a total of $7,575,000 over five years.

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