A brief intervention results in positive patient changes

A health educator who delivers SBIRT services in a Wisconsin healthcare clinic tells the story of how a brief intervention a patient getting much-needed mental health and financial help. (Some details have been changed to protect patient confidentiality.)

The health educator met with a male patient who scored high on the risk assessment and indicated he was a daily drinker, typically consuming 5 to 8 drinks per day and 10 or more during the weekends. He had experienced several significant consequences from his alcohol use – including a DUI and a fall that led to a significant injury.

Despite the negative impacts he was experiencing from his drinking, he initially had no intention of making any changes when he first met with the health educator. The health educator engaged with him in an exploration of his motivation for drinking, and he agreed to a follow-up phone call. When the health educator reached him by phone several weeks late,r he surprised her by sharing that he had not had a drop to drink in 18 days!



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