Skip to site content

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic alcohol and illicit drug use, abuse, and dependence. SBIRT is intended to meet the public health goal of reducing the harms and societal costs associated with risky use by reducing diseases, accidents, and injuries. SBIRT screens for all levels of substance use, not just dependency. Each unique part of the SBIRT process provides individualized information and assistance tailored to meet the patient’s needs.

SBIRT consists of 3 major components:

  • Screening — a healthcare professional in any healthcare setting assesses a patient for risky substance use behaviors using standardized screening tools.
  • Brief Intervention — a healthcare professional talks with a patient showing risky substance use behaviors in a brief conversation, providing feedback and recommendations.
  • Referral to Treatment — a healthcare professional provides a referral to brief therapy or additional treatment to patients whose screens indicate the need for additional services.

Additional information can be found on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)–Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Center for Integrated Health Solutions SBIRT webpageExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov .

SBIRT training and other resources can be located on the SAMHSA–HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions' SBIRT Training and Other Resources webpage Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov .