SBIRT Core Training Program: Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment

This program is NY OASAS approved for Medicaid reimbursement training

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4 hrs. Covers all SBIRT skills + Opportunity to practice skills via simulated cases.

Activity Information - PDF

Professional Practice GapAs many as 20% of primary care patients have substance use problems and primary care physicians could have a significant impact on their problems through providing screening, brief interventions, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) (Mersy, 2003). Unfortunately, PCPs screen less than half of their patients for tobacco use and less than a third for alcohol use (Seale et al 2010, Roche & Freeman 2004). The rate of screening for illicit drug use is also inadequate; about a third of primary care physicians and psychiatrists surveyed in one study did not screen routinely for illicit drug use (Friedmann, et al., 2001). Brief intervention in primary care is effective and cost-efficient approach to reduce patients' alcohol use (AAFP 2010; Seale 2010; Madras 2009). There is growing evidence that brief intervention for illicit drug use may also lead to positive patient outcomes (Compton 2009, Volkow 2010). And evidence also supports the effectiveness of interventions by medical providers for tobacco (USPSTF, 2008). However, brief interventions happen even less often than screening; for example counseling for problem drinking without dependence was reported by only 13% of patients in the 1998 Healthcare for Communities survey (D'Amico, 2005). Appropriate follow-up is also happening less often than is optimal. For example, only a little less than 50% of problem drinkers in this study reported receiving follow-up. There is also a practice gap in referral to treatment. Less than one-third of PCPs make a referral after identifying a substance abuse problem (CASA, 2000). Primary care physicians need to understand the different types of specialty treatment so that they can make appropriate referrals for their substance abuse patients (SAMHSA, 2008).
(References available on program information page.)

Goal/Expected Learner OutcomeThe learner will be able to appropriately screen for and identify substance abuse, plan and implement a tailored brief intervention, and will apply the SBI approach to substance abuse problems by individualizing these clinical skills to different patients. The learner will be able to improve care management and referral skills for patients with relatively more severe substance use problems and improve follow-up and brief treatment skills for patients with substance use problems. The learner will apply all SBIRT clinical skills learned in several simulated cases with a variety of substance use problems.
Target Audience: Health professionals

As an ACCME accredited provider of continuing medical education, Clinical Tools, Inc. complies with the Standards for Commercial Support issued by the ACCME and requires disclosure of and resolution of any conflicts of interest for those in control of content.

  • Clinical Tools, Inc MD (Company, CTI)
  • Karen Rossie, PhD DDS MS (Research Associate, Clinical Tools, Inc.)
  • Steve Applegate, MEd MEd (President, Applegate Consulting)
Clinical Tools, Dr. Rossie and Mr. Applegate have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Online Skills Training Experiences and Expected Learning Outcomes:

  1. SBIRT: Brief and Effective Screening for Hazardous Substance Use: How brief and effective screening for substance use problems can improve patient outcomes.
  2. SBIRT: Brief Interventions for Substance Use Disorders: Brief interventions when another treatment is the focus.
  3. SBIRT: Referral to Treatment and Follow-up Care: Options for specialty treatment, planning and arranging substance use disorder treatment referral.
  4. SBIRT: In Practice!: Three interactive cases give a chance to practice skills and clinical decision making presented in first three modules.


  • Complete the program:
    • complete the pre-assessments
    • complete all modules and in-module activities
    • complete post assessments with a 70% score on post test
    • print completion certificate


  • Rate for 4 hr program: $50 per individual;
  • Group Rates Available!
    Group Rates
    Cost Structure:
    Core Program:
    4 hours/NY OASAS qualified program (all SBIRT skills)
    Up to 4 people $50 per person

    5 to 15 people $45 per person

    16+ people $40 per person

    Custom Group Portal Web Page $500/group + user fees

    A custom webpage allows additional data collection (user entered, for example, practice name) and reporting of data. Minimum of $500 for 5 data items and monthly reporting. Recommended for very large groups who wish additional information and oversight of program usage. Per user fees still apply.

    Please contact us if you have questions

What Will the Learner Gain?

  • Select and use screening and assessment tools
  • Perform brief interventions
  • Refer patients to the appropriate treatment
  • Follow-up and reassess patients after SBIRT
  • Integrate SBIRT skills via interactive case scenarios
  • (Hospitals) Comply with Joint Commission Substance Abuse and Tobacco Treatment Measures


  • All internet-based, available 24/7
  • Includes Motivational Interviewing Skills
  • AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢, NBCC, DCBN, FBM, FAPA ce credits available