Office of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse Services


Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment


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).

New An Introduction to SBIRT YouTube (2 videos) - These videos were 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 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.

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New York State Approved SBIRT Training

NYS SBIRT Promotional Brochures PDF Document

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Provider Information


Reimbursement Information

General Information

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Federal Agency SBIRT Resources External Link

Evidence Based Alcohol and Substance Use Screening Instruments External Link

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Demonstration Videos on SBIRT Screening External Link

Resources for Screening Women External Link

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Resources for Screening Adolescents External Link

Resources for Screening for Tobacco Use External Link

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Motivational Interviewing Resources External Link

Mentor Resources External Link

SBIRT Strategies From Other States External Link

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SBIRT Articles External Link