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Preparing the Workforce to Implement SBIRT through Training, Technical Assistance, and Evaluation


Military SBIRT

There is a critical need to train military health professionals to conduct alcohol screening and brief intervention that embraces the unique culture and needs of military personnel and their families as well as military healthcare settings and health care delivery. NORC’s Military SBIRT initiative provided behavioral health and medical professionals serving military personnel and their families with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to:

  • Routinely screen military personnel and family members for risky alcohol use;
  • Provide Brief Negotiated Interview (BNI) using Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills for those who screen positive to help them modify risky behavior; and
  • Facilitate linkages to specialized treatment for patients with complex clinical conditions.

Through federal and foundation funding, NORC in collaboration with various technology and behavioral health partners, developed a suite of training and delivery tools designed specifically for the military making it easy for health professionals to gain these essential skills. Included in these evidence-based tools are an innovative and award winning online interactive training system and guide Military Health Care Professional’s Guide to Alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment.


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What is SBIRT? 

SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with risky and dependent alcohol use, treatment and ongoing recovery supports.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Screening quickly assesses for the presence of risky substance use, follows positive screens with further assessment of problem use, and identifies the appropriate level of treatment.

Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.

Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to medications, primary care counseling or specialty care as needed by the patient.