BHS provides integrated primary and behavioral health care services to WMed’s Departments of Internal and Pediatric Medicine by embedding behavioral health specialists within these departments. BHS clinical staff, some of whom are master's and doctoral students, have provided consultation to physicians, identified patients with substance misuse that complicates their medical conditions, and provided screening for medication misuse for existing patients on opioid pain medication. When problematic substance misuse is identified, brief interventions have been utilized to enhance the patient’s awareness of the implication of their use. Referrals to substance abuse treatment are provided to those patients identified being in need of more extensive treatment or access to specialty substance misuse services in the community.
The screening, brief intervention and referral for treatment process delivered within a primary care setting by trained behavioral health specialists has consistently been found to be an effective intervention.