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Screening, Brief Intervention
and Refer to Treatment (SBIRT)



Drinking and Your Health
Healthcare Role
Alcohol Screening
Brief Intervention
Referral Sources
Additional Resources


What is Screening, Brief Intervention & Refer to Treatment (SBIRT)?

SBIRT is an effective prevention strategy that involves simple steps to identify harmful drinking behaviors and encourage individuals to modify or reduce alcohol consumption.

SBIRT is an evidence-based technique that has been found to have significant impact on reducing alcohol consumption, repeat injuries and hospitalization, and drinking & driving violations.

SBIRT is additionally a cost effective program that yields substantial savings by reducing injury & health-related medical expenditures.

Why is SBIRT a Critical Prevention Strategy?

Although most adults in the US drink safely or don’t drink at all, nearly 1 in 5 Montanans report binge drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks on an occasion, at least once in the last 30 days. Strikingly, nearly half of all motor vehicle crashes in MT are alcohol-related.
Medical providers can offer an opportunity to counsel patients on health risks associated with risky drinking patterns and encourage behavioral changes that could significantly improve a patient’s health.

What is the MT SBIRT Project?

The Montana Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Health & Human Services are partnering with hospitals and healthcare providers to implement this evidence-based program to address the high rate of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. The goals of this project are to :

  • Reduce alcohol & drug-related fatalities
  • Reduce the rate of alcohol & drug-related traffic crashes
  • Increase the awareness, acceptance, and implementation of SBIRT protocols in Montana’s healthcare culture 

The MT SBIRT Project provides one-on-one technical assistance and support to healthcare providers in the Emergency Department, Trauma Services, Social Services, primary care clinics, university medical clinic setting to learn about and implement screening and brief interventions.

Leigh Taggart, BSN, MPH, is the SBIRT Project Leader, who has also been selected as the Regional SBIRT Coordinator for the Emergency Nurses Association. Leigh has experience as an emergency department / ICU nurse in conducting brief interventions for alcohol use with her patients and has been instrumental in developing a system for promoting SBIRT in her facility.

If you are interested in learning more about SBIRT and how to implement in your facility/agency, please contact Leigh or Bobbi.

Montana SBIRT Project Contact Info

Injury Prevention Program Manager
(406) 444-4126