Brief Intervention & Treatment for Elders (BRITE)
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Annual CDSME and Falls Prevention Resource Centers Meeting

Making Our Vision a Reality

April 28-30, 2015
Arlington, VA


Presentations and Handouts

Brief Intervention & Treatment for Elders (BRITE)


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Currently offered in 70 sites nationwide


Substance abuse screening and intervention program for community-dwelling older adults who are at-risk for and/or experiencing substance abuse problems.  Substances include alcohol, prescription medication, over-the-counter medication and illicit drug use.  BRITE implements the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) initiative of the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

The program goals are to identify non-dependent substance use or prescription medication issues and provide effective service strategies prior to an individual’s need for more extensive or specialized substance abuse treatment.  The program also screens for depression and suicide risk because of the relationship of depression to older adults’ substance abuse.

Supporting Evidence:

Results from the Florida state pilot study of 3,497 screenings (four counties) illustrated statistically significant reductions in use of alcohol, medications, and illicit drugs, as well as reduced symptoms of depression.  Provider agencies offered in-home screening, brief intervention and brief treatment for problems related to alcohol, illicit substances, and prescription and over-the-counter medications (Schonfeld et al, 2010).


Gfroerer, J., Penne, M., Pemberton, M., Folsom, R. (2003). Substance abuse treatment need among older adults in 2020: The impact of the aging baby-boom cohort.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 69 (2), 127-135.

Schonfeld, L., King-Kallimanis, B. L., Duchene, D. M., Etheridge, R. L., Herrera, J. R., Barry, K. L., &  Lynn, N. (2010).  Screening and Brief Intervention for Substance Misuse Among Older Adults: The Florida BRITE Project.  American Journal of Public Health, 100(1), 108-114.  doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.149534


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