SVMC Receives Grant for Prevention of Increased Substance Abuse

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Emergency Department at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center has received a grant for up to $440,000 that will help identify patients who are at risk for a substance abuse problem and provide assistance or a referral for treatment.

The Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant — a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, in cooperation with the Vermont Department of Health — aims to identify those at risk and conduct brief interventions to thwart increased use of drugs and alcohol.

Until recently, alcohol and drug interventions were focused on the 4 percent to 6 percent of Vermonters already abusing or dependent on substances. The interventions did not provide help for the 15 percent who misuse substances and whose increased misuse may lead to greater problems.

Several health care providers are already using the SBIRT model successfully, including University of Vermont Student Health Services, community health centers, clinics for the uninsured, and emergency departments.

The grant provides $220,000 for SBIRT practitioners — two interventionists with training in social work and motivational interviewing and a data entry specialist — along with training for both SBIRT staff and Emergency Department staff. If performance benchmarks are met, an additional $220,000 will be provided in the second year of the program.


Tags: substance abuse,   SVMC,   

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