Very brief initial screening questions can indicate to a provider within seconds that their patient is not at risk. At many Vermont SBIRT sites, these questions are asked universally- of each patient who walks through the door. With a few simple questions, you can determine that A. your patient is not using substances in a risky fashion or B. you need farther screening. The Audit-C (3 questions), the NIDA drug question (3 questions) and the PHQ-2 (2 questions) will provide a basis for giving your patient feedback.
Although many of the Vermont SBIRT providers have incorporated initial screening questions into their Electronic Health Records (ehr), you can find the full list of recommended initial screening questions here. By incorporating general questions about healthy behavior into the tool, patients are more at ease with substance use questions. We have also included questions about tobacco use and use while pregnant that should trigger Brief interventions when appropriate.