top of page

SBIRT Training

What is SBIRT?
Image from New Hampshire SBIRT
Image from Columbia Psychiatry
SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment. It is an evidence-based practice that helps to identify at-risk, or harmful, substance use (both alcohol and drugs) patterns. When a qualified healthcare professional administers SBIRT s/he will first use a validated screening tool, such as the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test) or DAST (Drug Abuse Screening Tool), to determine whether or not the patient meets the criteria for at-risk/harmful use. If the patient does meet the criteria then the brief intervention will commence. During the brief intervention, the qualified healthcare professional will utilize Motivational Interviewing skills to assess, and then attempt to amplify, the patient’s readiness to change. The last part of the SBIRT process is the referral to treatment, which will occur only if the patient has expressed a willingness to want to accept a referral. If the patient is not ready for a referral then the qualified healthcare professional will attempt to re-engage the patient, again using Motivational Interviewing skills, at a later date. The purpose of SBIRT is to make the best attempt possible to screen, intervene, and provide options for treatment, but it is never meant to be used as a tool to force a patient into treatment. 
The SUNY Downstate Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Training Center aimed to teach residents and students in health professions the skills necessary to provide evidence-based screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for patients who are at risk for a substance use disorder. The project represented a collaborative effort between the College of Medicine and the College of Health Professions, and trained HIV Internal Medicine Residents, Physician Assistant Students, Midwifery Students, Family Practice Residents, Internal Medicine Residents, Psychiatry Residents and select faculty members from each respective program.
The primary goal of the grant was to build and sustain an SBIRT Training Program that was viable long after the grant had expired. And we are happy to say that it has. We continue to offer SBIRT educational seminars, and trainings, to students, clinicians, and community-based organizations who are interested in adapting SBIRT as a primary intervention. For those interested in receiving SBIRT training please contact us: 
SBIRT, coupled with the MAT Training, will provide you with the skills necessary to treat patients with Substance Use Disorders
SBIRT Infographic
Infographic from 
bottom of page