SAMHSA Awards More Than $22 Million for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Programs

Released: 7/25/2012 11:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)
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Newswise — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing more than $22 million in new funding to expand implementing screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) services for adults in primary care and community health settings. SBIRT is an innovative approach to delivering early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders and for persons at risk for developing these disorders.

Integration of behavioral health services into primary care centers, hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers, and other community settings provides opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users before more severe consequences occur. Screening for alcohol and drug use helps identify people at risk for or with underlying substance abuse problems that might otherwise go unnoticed and untreated. Through SBIRT, people reporting misuse of alcohol and drugs receive brief intervention addressing harmful behaviors, as well as referral to treatment if needed. SBIRT promotes early intervention—thereby getting those in need onto the road to recovery sooner.

“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,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “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.”

“Public health approaches to drug control like SBIRT save lives, save money, and can reduce the significant burden our drug problem places on both health care and criminal justice systems,” said White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske. “This program represents the future of drug policy in America, and I commend our partners in the medical community for working with us to implement smart approaches in health settings to reduce our Nation’s challenges with substance use. Law enforcement efforts will always remain a part of our work to protect communities from drug-related crime, but as someone who has spent my entire career in law enforcement, I know that we cannot simply arrest our way out of the drug problem.”

Each of the three awardees will receive up to a total of $7,575,000 over 5 years. Funding for the grants was provided by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. Continuation of these awards is subject to the progress achieved by the awardees. The following is a list of the SBIRT program awardees and their funding amounts.


GranteeCityStateFirst Year Award
State of New JerseyTrentonNew Jersey$7,574,952
Governor's Office Phoenix Arizona $7,575,000
State of Iowa - Iowa Department of Public HealthDes MoinesIowa$7,575,000

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SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.


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