Common Myths

  • Screening takes too much time.
  • Providers may annoy patients by screening them.
  • There is no available place to send a patient who screens positive.
  • The costs associated with screening and treatment will not be compensated and will be prohibitive.
  • My patients are not at risk.

These are usually simply not true.

Realities about Screening and Intervention for Substance Use

  • Screening can be accomplished by as little as a single question
  • Numerous studies report patient preference of physician screening and intervention
  • Multiple resources exist for treatment for substance abuse disorders
  • Screening and brief intervention is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare

Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA, strongly conveys NIDA policy that physicians screen their patients, and NIDA has several other related videos on implementation of substance use screening.

Before turning to an introduction to the benefits,  effectiveness, and steps for implementing SBIRT, the next modules will briefly discuss the prevalence of substance use and the diverse and significant detrimental effects it can have on our patients’ lives.