Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment in a Retail Pharmacy Setting: The Pharmacist's Role in Identifying and Addressing Risk of Substance Use Disorder

J Addict Med. Sep/Oct 2019;13(5):403-407. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000525.


Objective: This study determined the feasibility of interviewing and screening patients presenting to a retail pharmacy using Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) interview protocols, and to compare SBIRT results to a risk score calculated from Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data.

Methods: Using the NIDA Quick Screen and NIDA Modified-ASSIST (NM-ASSIST) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), retail pharmacy customers were screened for substance and alcohol use disorder and tobacco use. PDMP reports were collected on subjects and a PDMP-risk score was calculated based on the numbers of Schedule II-V prescriptions and prescribers over the previous 12 months.

Results: A total of 24 patients were included in this study (67% response rate). SBIRT screening revealed that 20.8% were at-risk for substance use disorder (SUD), 16.7% for alcohol use disorder, and 37.5% used tobacco. Overall, 33.3% of subjects were at-risk for SUD or alcohol use disorder. Fifty percent of subjects required education and/or brief intervention based on their responses, 37.5% of all subjects were deemed at-risk based on their PDMP-risk score, and 60% of patients who were risk-positive by SBIRT screening were also PDMP-risk positive.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the feasibility of performing SBIRT-based screenings in a retail pharmacy setting and combining these with PDMP-risk analysis to screen patients for prescription and illicit drug misuse. Findings from this study will inform the design of larger multisite studies, which should validate these findings and include follow-up analysis to assess the efficacy of intervention on this patient population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacy
  • Professional Role*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult