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Every year, more than 50,000 people die by opioid overdose. Patients at Rush University Medical Center are not exempt from this crisis. Last year, Rush reported approximately 562 inpatient and 1011 outpatient encounters with patients diagnosed with moderate to high risk for healthcare problems related to substance use.

SUIT Program Components

Rush clinicians, researchers and faculty take on addiction from multiple angles, embracing a non-stigmatizing, patient-based approach to prevention, screening and intervention.

SUIT Program Components

Universal Screening

Gender-based alcohol use question at admission:

  • Female question:
    • How many times in the past have you had 4 or more drinks in the same day?
  • Male question
    • How many times in the past have you had 5 or more drinks in the same day?

Drug use question at admission:

  • How many times in the past year have you used a recreational drug and used a prescription medication for non-medication reasons?

Secondary Screening

Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative communication style that is patient-centered and focused on behavior change. Training focuses on the following principles:

  • Partnership: Viewing the person as being an expert on their own lives and that you are partnering with them.
  • Acceptance: Remaining open to where the person is at in the change process and appreciating them as a unique human being.
  • Collaboration: You are doing your best to demonstrate that you value the person’s own ideas and are interested in what they have to say.
  • Evocation: You are doing your best to elicit the person’s own thoughts, ideas, perspectives, etc. prior to providing your own.

SUIT Consult

Based on the motivational interview, the social worker will request the primary service to consult the SUIT team for further care and outpatient follow-up.

Addiction Medicine Clinic

If a patient screens at harmful or severe risk, SUIT will refer the patient to either the Addiction Medicine Clinic or outside resources for specialized patient care.

Pharmacist Education and Training

Pharmacists serve as a critical line of defense against the opioid epidemic through education, training in Naloxone overdose intervention and medication management.