Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Looking for SBIRT Training or Technical Assistance?


The NWATTC offers a range of SBIRT training and technical assistance (TA) services to health care organizations. The SBIRT services described below may be offered individually or as part of a training/TA package.

If you are interested in SBIRT training or technical assistance please contact us at

Orientation to SBIRT

Group in TrainingThis presentation, which can be delivered in either 30- or 60-minute format, offers healthcare providers and/or management:

  • a quick review of the 3 basic components of SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment)
  • rationale and evidence for delivering SBIRT in healthcare settings,
  • video demonstration of SBIRT within the clinic workflow,
  • a general introduction to the four steps of the brief intervention, and
  • discussion of key implementation steps.

This presentation is appropriate for clinic leadership staff who may be considering full implementation of SBIRT or as a general staff introduction to SBIRT.

SBIRT Basic Training

Group of doctorsThis 4-hour basic SBIRT training is designed to provide potential SBIRT providers and billers (primary care, emergency department, and behavioral health) with an overview of the background and rationale for SBIRT, along with the details for providing screening, brief interventions, and referral to treatment. The training consists of four modules:

SBIRT Overview & Rationale – reviews SBIRT’s key components, evidence base, goals, and the target population for services
Screening – reviews the pre-screen questions, full screens (AUDIT/DAST), screening protocols, clinic workflow examples, and matching interventions to the three levels of risk
Delivering a Brief Intervention – presents the four-step Brief Negotiated Interview model and provides participants with demonstrations and opportunities to engage in role-play.
Referral to Treatment & SBIRT Billing – reviews the key steps for making an effective referral for individuals at high risk of having a substance use disorder. SBIRT billing requirements are discussed along with important steps for implementation.
Meets the 4-hour training requirement for certification from the WA State Health Care Authority to submit billing for SBIRT and provide or supervise individuals providing SBIRT services. 

SBIRT for Medical Assistants

Medical assistants (MAs) often play a key role in delivering the screening components of SBIRT. This training provides them with an overview of the SBIRT process and rationale. The primary focus is on helping MAs develop the necessary skills to effectively deliver the pre-screens and full screens to patients. This training can be customized for the clinic setting and ranges from 30-60 minutes.


SBIRT Technical Assistance for Implementation

Training is just one component of implementing the SBIRT process. The NWATTC provides intensive technical assistance (TA) to clinics, emergency departments, and mental health organizations to assist them in developing SBIRT implementation. The TA provides a model for building staff buy-in of the SBIRT process, developing an effective clinic flow, integrating SBIRT into the clinic’s EMR system, training the key personnel to deliver their respective parts of the SBIRT process, and tracking data to measure the success of implementation.  

If you are interested in SBIRT training or technical assistance please contact us at