Through SBIRT, doctors can use a form to ask pregnant members about their tobacco use, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health. Studies have been done on smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol while pregnant. They have found that smoking and/or drinking can stunt a baby’s growth in the womb or cause premature birth. Doing either of these can also cause lifelong defects or death.
That is why the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services created a tool for doctors to use. It is a form to ask pregnant Medicaid patients about their tobacco use, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health.
They call it “SBIRT,” short for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment. The goal is to help lower the number of infant deaths in the state, which is above the national average.
It only takes a few minutes to ask and answer the questions, but the purpose of SBIRT is to get women the help they need to keep their babies healthy.
You can begin on your own by calling a tobacco quitline counselor and asking how to get started.