Using Screening to Help End the Opioid Crisis


Using Screening to Help End the Opioid Crisis

July 31, 2019

This past weekend, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to 12 apparent drug overdoses. This alarming amount of deaths within 3 days is a reminder that there is still much to do to prevent these unnecessary deaths from occurring.

Even though the focus is on Milwaukee right now, there are many other cities seeing a rise in overdose deaths and suicides. For this to change we must continue to change the processes for substance abuse and mental health through education, prevention, access to treatment and ending the stigma surrounding them both.

Many programs are helping to reduce the opioid epidemic such as PDMP programs, wide use of Naloxone and government officials creating solutions. Almost all 50 states have an opioid action plan that lists out their individual processes for tackling the crisis in their state. One of these action items is screening patients for opioid risk. Many states are now requiring screening for acute and/or chronic care including Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia.

Other states are also encouraging the use of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), an evidence-based practice used for getting help to the people who need it. The screening componant to this strategy is extremely important to identify ALL of the possible risk factors a patient may have. After all, approximately 10.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.

Clinicians often utilize paper or ask their patients directly mental and behavioral health screening questions; however, this may result in clerical error or the patient not being honest. With a patient-driven electronic screening tool, the clinician can get an honest answer from their patients and assess for a multiple risk categories within the same screening. Electronic screening is also instant, allowing the clinician to be able to perform SBIRT, thus following state recommendations/requirements and the ability to increase your ROI.

It is going to take time and a lot of effort; however, we must take steps towards a solution. This is a life or death epidemic and we can start today with preventative measures.


About assessURhealth, LLC

assessURhealth™ empowers clinicians by providing the tools and resources needed to positively impact the identification, treatment & awareness of mental & behavioral health while generating significant revenue. We offer a patient-driven, electronic mental & behavioral health screening tool for clinicians, trade associations, higher education institutes, government entities and more. Custom reporting provides clinicians with instant mission critical health risk classification data on depression, anxiety, somatic symptom, alcohol misuse, opioid abuse, postnatal and PTSD with additional/custom assessments and languages also available. To learn more about assessURhealth, visit our website at


Electronic Mental & Behavioral Health Screening Tool

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If you are seeking personal or individual help please dial 911 for an emergency or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Please see our resources page for a list of government and non-profit mental & behavioral health organizations.