SBIRT Glossary

Glossary of terms used on the PGH SBIRT website.
Browse the glossary using this index

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12-Step Programs

Substance Use Disorder treatment programs often involving twelve steps toward becoming spiritually enlightened and as a result, sober. The two most popular associations are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).



Short Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire.


The cessation of all consumption of a particular substance or a variety of substances. Often the ultimate goal of substance dependence treatments.

Abuse of a Substance

Maladaptive pattern of use leading to clinically significant impairment manifesting one or more of the following within a 12-month period: behavioral impairment, use in hazardous situations, legal problems, recurrent use in spite of social and interpersonal problems.


A prescription drug used to treat alcohol dependence by interacting with the glutamate neurotransmitter system.

Alcohol withdrawal

Begins within 6 hours of the last drink and can range from minor withdrawal (insomnia, tremulousness, anxiety, GI upset) to seizures, hallucinations and at its most severe, delirium tremens.


Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test — an instrument developed for the World Health Organization (WHO) by an international group of substance abuse researchers to detect and manage substance use and related problems in primary and general medical care settings.


Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test — a screening tool developed by the World Health Organization to identify persons whose alcohol consumption has become hazardous or harmful to their health. It is a 10-item screening questionnaire with 3 questions on the amount and frequency of drinking, 3 questions on alcohol dependence, and 4 on problems caused by alcohol. All of the questions are scored using a 5-point Likert scale.


Brief Intervention

Brief dialogues with patients exploring the consequences of substance use with the intent to strengthen the patient’s own motivation and commitment to positive behavior change.


A partial opioid agonist used to treat opioid addiction.

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