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UMass Receives Grant to Combat Substance Abuse

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst College of Nursing received an $870,000 grant to develop a program to train student nurses in the screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) of patients with substance abuse disorders. The grant was awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

"We are optimistic about the SBIRT curricular approach to teaching behavior change," said Donna Zucker, RN, PhD, FAAN, associate professor in the College of Nursing at UMass Amherst and principal investigator for the project. "We believe SBIRT: The Power of Nursing to Change Health has great potential to impact the medical system and in the long run improve patient outcomes."

SBIRT: The Power of Nursing to Change Health is one of 12 programs to be funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The funding stems from the growing need for new ways to approach alcohol, drug and other substance abuse issues in the United States and will enable healthcare providers in a variety of service delivery settings to be trained in SBIRT.

The project will function for 3 years, and up to 500 nursing students will be trained in SBIRT techniques.

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