What is SBIRT?

SBIRT is an evidence-based approach to identifying patients who use alcohol and other drugs at risky levels with the goal of reducing and preventing related health consequences, disease, accidents and injuries. Risky substance use is a health issue and often goes undetected.

SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach that provides opportunities for early intervention before more severe consequences occur. Evidence-based tools that are demonstrated to be valid and reliable in identifying individuals with problem use or at risk for a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) must be used. Based on implementation of this model nationally, of 459,599 patients screened, 22.7 percent screened positive for a spectrum of use (risky/problematic, abuse/addiction). Of those who screened positive 15.9 percent were recommended for a brief intervention with a smaller percentage recommended for brief treatment (3.2 percent) or referral to specialty treatment (3.7 percent).

An Introduction to SBIRT  – This video was developed to introduce healthcare professionals to the importance of screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT). Highlights of SBIRT are included with testimonials from the NYS OASAS Acting Medical Director and other physicians from Northwell Health (previously North Shore Long Island Jewish Health Systems).

Why is SBIRT Important?

  • SBIRT is effective. More than screening, SBIRT is an effective tool for identifying risk behaviors and providing appropriate intervention.
  • By screening for high risk behavior, healthcare providers can use evidence-based brief interventions focusing on health and other consequences, preventing future problems.

How does SBIRT work?

  • SBIRT incorporates screening for all types of substance use with brief, tailored feedback and advice.
  • SBIRT can be performed in a variety of settings. Screening does not have to be performed by a physician.
  • Simple feedback on risky behavior can be one of the most important influences on patient behavior and change.

What are the benefits of SBIRT?

  • Prevent disease, accidents and injuries related to substance use, resulting in better patient outcomes.
  • SBIRT reduces costly healthcare utilization.
  • SBIRT is reimbursable, billing codes are available in New York State.
  • Many payers reimburse for SBIRT services.

Eligibility for 4 hour SBIRT Training: 

  • Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Psychologists, and Registered Nurses(unless qualified as a CARN).
  • Licensed: Practical Nurses, Master Social Workers, Clinical Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists.
  • Certified: School Counselors and Rehabilitation Counselors.
  • Credentialed: Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors, Prevention Professionals, and Problem Gambling Counselors.
  • Nurse Mid-Wives.

Local Contact:

Community Educator Ann Weaver or call (585) 593-1920 ext.713.


New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services