SBIRT: Brief Intervention and Other Treatments

The learner will be able to plan and implement a tailored brief intervention and education to patients with substance use problems.

: 1 hr

After completing this activity participants will be able to:

  • Employ motivational interviewing techniques to develop rapport with the patient

  • Employ motivational interviewing techniques to facilitate change

  • Modify the brief intervention for substance use problem as appropriate to the patient or situation including substance used and severity

  • Provide the patient with education and resources needed

Professional Practice Gaps

Brief interventions in primary care have been shown to reduce alcohol use (Babor et al, 2007) and illicit drug use (Madras et al., 2009). Unfortunately, few PCPs are routinely providing substance use screening or intervention with their patients (Roche and Freeman, 2004; D'Amico et al., 2005).

Babor TF, McRee BG, Kassebaum PA, Grimaldi PL, Ahmed K, Bray J. Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): toward a public health approach to the management of substance abuse. Subst Abus. 2007; 28(3): 7-30. Available at: Accessed on: 2014-07-28.
D'Amico EJ, Paddock SM, Burnam A, Kung FY. Identification of and guidance for problem drinking by general medical providers: results from a national survey. Medical Care. 2005; 43(3): 229-236. Available at: Accessed on: 2013-10-24.
Madras BK, Compton WM, Avula D, et al. Screening, brief interventions, referral to treatment (SBIRT) for illicit drug and alcohol use at multiple healthcare sites. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009; 99: 280-295. Available at: Accessed on: 2011-03-24.
Roche AM, Freeman T. Brief interventions: good in theory but weak in practice. Drug and Alcohol Review. 2004; 23(1): 11-18. Available at: Accessed on: 2013-10-24.