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Report: One Million Screened: Scaling Up SBIRT and Buprenorphine Treatment in Hospital Emergency Departments Across Maryland

Jun 30, 2020 | White Papers and Studies

This widely-cited report “One Million Screened: Scaling Up SBIRT and Buprenorphine Treatment in Hospital Emergency Departments Across Maryland” was prepared by the Friends Research institute and Mosaic Group. It was published by The American Journal of Emergency Medicine in March 2020.


Identification of problematic alcohol use and substance use in the population has been a clinical challenge, especially during the heightened years of the opioid epidemic. Bringing Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) to scale in medical settings, such as hospital emergency departments (EDs) could facilitate broad identification of substance use disorders, timely delivery of brief interventions, and successful linkages to treatment.


Of the 1,097,142 ED patients screened, 17.2% screened positive for problematic alcohol or any drug use in the previous 12 months. During this same period, 79,899 brief interventions were delivered, 15,961 referrals to outpatient treatment were made and 38.3% of those were successfully linked to treatment. Of the 950 patients exhibiting withdrawal symptoms, over two-thirds patients (70.1%; n = 666) were administered buprenorphine, 94.6% (n = 630) accepted a referral to buprenorphine treatment in the community, and 64.6% (n = 430) attended their first outpatient buprenorphine treatment visit. A total of 2382 patients presented to the ED with a suspected opioid overdose, over half were referred to the intervention program (53.8%) and 63.2% were successfully engaged by the PRCs in the ED.

View online.

A distinctive blend of practicality and scholarliness makes the American Journal of Emergency Medicine a key source for information on emergency medical care. Covering all activities concerned with emergency medicine, it is the journal to turn to for information to help increase the ability to understand, recognize and treat emergency conditions. Issues contain clinical articles, case reports, review articles, editorials, international notes, book reviews and more. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine is recommended for initial purchase in the Brandon-Hill study, Selected List of Books and Journals for the Small Medical Library (2001 Edition).

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