Maryland SBIRT Champions Videos ​

Integrating Primary ​Medical Care and Behavioral Health Services

What is SBIRT?

SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) is an evidence-based comprehensive, integrated public health approach to the delivery of providing early intervention and treatment services to patients who have risky alcohol or drug use.

The SBIRT grant was awarded to Maryland for five years, within that time, the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration’s plan is to implement and expand SBIRT into 53 Community Primary Care Centers and two hospitals in 15 jurisdictions across Maryland with the expectation of screening at least 90,000 individuals.

Importance of SBIRT

The problem of alcohol and drug misuse is widespread in Maryland. By initiating a conversation and providing information, health care providers can normalize the conversation and help patients identify risky use early and make choices that lead to better health.

SBIRT can reduce:

  • Healthcare costs: Studies show cost savings of $3.81 to $5.60 for every $1.00 invested in SBIRT services. 
  • Emergency department visits, Non-fatal injuries, Hospitalizations, Arrests, and Motor vehicle crashes. 
  • Severity of drug and alcohol use: Studies show that substance use screening and intervention help people recognize and change unhealthy patterns of use.
  • Risk of physical trauma and percentage of patients who go without specialized substance use treatment. 

Given SBIRT’s demonstrated cost and health savings, federal agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Veterans Administration, Department of Defense and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, as well as managed care providers and major medical associations, have recommended SBIRT’s routine use.


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The Maryland SBIRT Project: Change the Conversation for Better Health

The Maryland SBIRT trains health care providers in community health centers and hospitals throughout Maryland to initiate conversations with patients about alcohol and drug use, and if necessary, refer patients for further assessment or treatment. A brief conversation can make a big difference and lead to better health.

Goals and Objectives

Maryland SBIRT aims to reduce:

  • Drug overdose deaths,
  • Health disparity oucomes among minorities,
  • Health care costs in Maryland.​

SBIRT Printed Materials

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Debbie Green, SBIRT Coordinator, Office of Prevention and Wellness Services, Division of Population-based Health, BHA at or Bonnie Campbell, SBIRT Project Director at or (410) 637-1900, ext. 7790.