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What is SBIRT Iowa?

We know that 30 percent of Americans use alcohol and drugs at a level that increases their risk for physical, mental and social harm. That’s 3 in 10 people. The problem is, we don’t know who they are. The answer is screening. If we can identify Iowans who are at risk, we can help them set health goals, highlight behavior change, offer brief treatment, or refer them to specialty substance abuse treatment services. That’s SBIRT – Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment.

Return on Investment

Studies show that people who received screening and brief intervention in an emergency department, hospital, or primary care office experienced 33% fewer non-fatal injuries, 37% fewer hospitalizations, 46% fewer arrests, and 50% fewer motor vehicle crashes. Other positive effects include reductions in alcohol consumption, successful referral to and participation in substance abuse treatment programs, and reduction in repeat injuries and injury hospitalizations.


SBIRT Iowa is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Division of Behavioral Health and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The project makes it possible for Iowans to receive pre-screenings, screenings, brief interventions, brief treatments, and referrals to treatment.