Reflecting on Successful SBIRT Work in Rhode Island

  • 12 Dec 2019

On November 21, CTC-RI hosted a meeting with numerous stakeholders that reflected on the past two years worth of work in supporting Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). SBIRT is a best practice for the early identification and treatment of alcohol and other substance use disorders. 


In 2017, CTC-RI was awarded a five-year contract from the RI Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals to implement SBIRT screening across RI. Trained screeners are working in more than 25 settings in RI, including primary care, hospital emergency rooms, urgent care settings, and the Department of Corrections. Across the first two years of the grant, over 16,000 Rhode Islanders have been screened. Over 16% screened positive for risky alcohol and/or substance use and were able to receive an intervention, such as education or a referral for treatment. A sample of patients who screened positive are followed up with 6 months later and re-screened. The data show an average of a 40% decrease in the number of days in the last month using substances.