Program Evaluation of SAMSHA

The UC San Diego Health Services Research Center (HSRC) has been contracted to provide evaluation consultation for two Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)-funded programs implemented by La Maestra Family Clinic in San Diego County, Medication Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). HSRC collaborates with La Maestra's PDOA-MAT and SBIRT stakeholders to develop and implement an evaluation plan to measure the progress patients make toward successful outcomes and to inform program improvement efforts.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based practice that combines the use of FDA-approved medications along with counseling and behavioral therapy to treat substance use disorders and to help sustain recovery. MAT has been endorsed by SAMHSA, which established the MAT-PDOA grant program to expand and enhance access to MAT services for people with an opioid use disorder who are seeking or receiving MAT. La Maestra's MAT-PDOA services target low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals with an opioid use disorder.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based approach to identifying, reducing, and preventing problematic use of and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs through early intervention.

The components of SBIRT are:

  • Screening by using standardized tools to assess a patient for risky substance use behaviors
  • Brief intervention in which a healthcare professional engages a patient showing risky substance use behaviors in conversation and provides feedback and advice
  • Referral to treatment by healthcare professionals to brief therapy or additional treatment

La Maestra's overall goal for the SAMHSA SBIRT project is to increase access to enhanced SBIRT services for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured adults and transition age youth (TAY).