Public Release: 

BMC to implement training programs to address alcohol and other drug use

Boston University Medical Center

(Boston) - Boston Medical Center (BMC) was awarded a two-year grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) to train, mentor and coach Massachusetts healthcare providers and others about how to incorporate screening and intervention for unhealthy alcohol and other drug use into their practices.

Known as the Massachusetts Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Training and Technical Assistance Program (MASBIRT TTA), it will be based within the section of general internal medicine's Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit at BMC.

MASBIRT TTA is directed by the BMC leadership team of Medical Director, Daniel Alford, MD, Program Manager, Alissa Cruz, MPH, and Training Manager, Lee Ellenberg, LICSW. The team has more than five years of experience working with BSAS providing local, regional and national Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment (SBIRT) training and education. They have also directed the successful implementation of SBIRT services in diverse clinical settings for more than 170,000 patients in the Greater Boston area.

"While we have experience providing SBIRT directly in a variety of settings, training providers on such a large scale is a major step forward," said Ellenberg.

SBIRT is an evidence-based public health approach to identify patients whose patterns of alcohol and/or drug use put their health at risk. It also includes referral to specialty addiction treatment services for persons with more severe substance use problems. By intervening early, SBIRT can reduce risky alcohol and drug use before it causes more severe consequences or dependence.

"As healthcare moves toward recognizing the importance of early intervention and prevention strategies in healthcare settings, SBIRT will become a standard practice in healthcare," added Ellenberg.


For more information about signing up for MASBIRTTTA in your organization please visit or call (617) 414-3749.

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