West Virginia SBIRT Program

An early intervention program for individuals at risk of substance use disorders, developed with consideration for Appalachia's unique culture, values, and behaviors

The West Virginia SBIRT Project (WVSBIRT), through the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Behavioral Health, is an integrated approach between community-based behavioral health centers and rural community-based primary health care clinics, trauma units, and school-based health clinics. The target population is rural Appalachian men, women, and children ages 12 and over who are patients at these sites.

The intent of the program is to provide early intervention for substance misuse. West Virginia SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment) enhances the state's current system for care by increasing access to intervention for at-risk individuals and prevention of substance use disorders. Patients are screened as part of the intake process and those with positive screens receive culturally appropriate, evidenced-based brief interventions or brief treatments by WVSBIRT clinicians. Those needing more specialized treatment are referred to a community behavioral health center.

Interventions that are developed with consideration for Appalachian culture, values, language, and behaviors have demonstrated to be most successful. Since the target population is 100% Appalachian, by design, WVSBIRT specifically addresses these Appalachian cultural issues, while also utilizing the evidenced-based SBIRT model.

Prevention and early intervention...with consideration for Appalachian culture, values, language, and behaviors have been demonstrated to be most successful.

Continuum of Care
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Early Intervention

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

WVSBIRT has not been evaluated yet, however SBIRT in general is an evidenced-based practice with replicated research showing positive outcomes.