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Screening and Brief Intervention 

Screening and Brief Intervention
Screening and Brief Intervention

Darius A. Rastegar

and Michael I. Fingerhood

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date: 29 March 2020

Screening and brief interventions for alcohol and other drugs are recommended in many expert guidelines. This is often followed by referral to treatment for those with a moderate-severe substance use disorder (SBIRT). Screening begins with asking about alcohol and other drug use; there are a number of instruments that can help with this process. Brief intervention is a motivational process of assessing drug use, giving feedback, setting goals, arriving at a strategy for change, and providing a plan for follow-up. Assessing an individual’s stage of change can help inform the approach to helping the person and address denial and relapse, as needed. Research on SBIRT has yielded mixed results, with some evidence of efficacy, particularly for nondependent at-risk drinkers.

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