Social Work and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) SBIRT Resources

SBIRT is an evidence-based brief screening and intervention tool that social workers and other health professionals can use in a variety of settings, including primary care settings, clinics, emergency rooms, campus health service, and others. The approach is intended for use with individuals who use substances more than they should, but are not yet dependent. Implementation has led to a reduction of substance use by many of the screened individuals; as a result, insurance companies and government payers have created billing codes for the services. The research thus far has focused primarily on SBIRT's use with substance use, though studies are beginning to adapt it for other areas of practice.

Member Activities

In spring 2013 a request for information was sent out over several addictions-related electronic mailing lists asking for a summary of how faculty members were including SBIRT in their teaching and research activities. Many of our programs and individual members are doing impressive work in the area, and some of that is highlighted below. If you would like to be added to the list, please contact [email protected].

  • Howard University is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) SBIRT grantee using the grant to train social service and health care professionals in hospitals and child welfare and community agencies. 
  • University of Texas at Austin helped to develop training manuals for SAMHSA-funded sites in Texas and Georgia. It also has an ongoing National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded randomized controlled trial (RCT) study examining the use of SBIRT in a trauma unit.
  • San Diego State University has several SBIRT studies taking place, including an NIDA-funded RCT study examining the use of SBIRT in a trauma unit, NIDA/National Institutes of Health funded study examining SBIRT with Latino and non-Latino drug users, and Web interventions. The university also has integrated SBIRT into its curriculum at the baccalaureate and master’s levels.
  • New York University has a post-master’s program in clinical approaches to addiction. It also has had research projects examining the use of SBIRT in the Veterans’ Administration.
  • Loyola University in ChicagoCalifornia State University, Long BeachRutgers University; and University of Louisville have incorporated SBIRT content into their coursework or offer standalone courses related to motivational interviewing.
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is teaching the use of SBIRT to mental health and health care specialization students in its master's program. Additionally, faculty members teach medical students how to use SBIRT for behavioral health concerns during nonacute care visits. Finally, some of their baccalaureate and master's students are participating in research on SBIRT models that are used in local schools.
  • Azusa Pacific University has developed an interdisciplinary faith and spirituality integrated SBIRT training. Funded by a grant from SAMHSA, this free four hour online training is designed for use by social workers, psychologists, and nurses who have interest in effectively integrating faith and spirituality in practice. This interdisciplinary project is working with faith based university partners across the state of California, with a goal to train over 8000 students in SBIRT. For further information visit

Teaching and Learning Resources

If you would like to learn more about SBIRT or incorporate it into your classroom, try some of the resources below or see the links under Further Reading.

Further Reading