Substance Abuse Screenings in Tennessee (SBIRT-TN)

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
Nurse Showing Patient Test Results On Digital Tablet

SBIRT is a substance abuse screening and referral to treatment initiative. It is patient-centered and offers early intervention to identify and address substance misuse. SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment.  It is an education and early intervention tool used in primary care settings.  Care providers who use SBIRT ask all patients about their substance use and discuss use levels confidentially with patients.

A significant number of Americans overuse alcohol or drugs, but not to the extent of "abuse." Research shows that these patients expect to talk to their providers about substance use, and that they are receptive to low-intensity interventions. SBIRT provides the tools to rapidly identify and sensitively discuss risky substance use and enables patients to decrease their use. 

It has been proven effective for patients who are not addicted, but whose substance use puts them at risk for accidents, liver damage, cardiac issues and other serious health concerns. These individuals make up about 20% of the U.S. population.

SBIRT is ideal for use in primary, specialty and emergency care settings.  At intake, all adult patients are asked two questions related to amount and frequency of alcohol and drug use.  When indicated, patients may then receive further screening and be offered a motivational interview or a referral for behavioral health treatment.

For More Information

If you or a loved one needs treatment for substance use or addiction, please call or text the Tennessee REDLINE: 800-889-9789.

If you're having trouble accessing services, you can call or email the TDMHSAS Office of Consumer Affairs
Phone: 800-560-5767
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for state holidays)

To learn more about SBIRT in Tennessee, please contact:

Sheba Green, MS
Program Manager