New Initiative Will Teach Medical Students How To Identify and Aid Substance Abusers

Physicians-in-training at the Yale School of Medicine will learn how to identify and aid individuals with substance abuse problems through a program being suppported by a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Yale is one of 11 centers across the nation that will introduce Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment (SBIRT) training into their medical residency programs through this initiative.

The training is designed to help health care providers learn how to recognize patients at risk for problems related to substance abuse and how to provide timely and effective help.

“SBIRT programs have been proven to decrease the frequency and severity of drug and alcohol use and increase the number of people who enter specialized treatment,” said Tevi Troy, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Yale will use the funding to promote the adoption of SBIRT among all primary care specialty residents in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry and emergency medicine. All told, 254 residents will receive SBIRT training in the first year.

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