Alcohol and drug use screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based intervention proven to help patients reduce risky alcohol use.  SBIRT is also a promising practice for helping patients reduce illegal drug use and prescription medication misuse.  SBIRT is successfully used in primary care practices, hospitals, and other settings.  Sole practitioners or multi-disciplinary staff can integrate the components of SBIRT into routine health care.  Maryland Medicaid Managed Care Organizations reimburse eligible providers for one annual screening and up to four brief interventions per year.  Medicare and most commercial insurance covers screening and brief interventions.

SBIRT includes three components:  (1) Screening – short validated questionnaire to determine if patients are at low, medium or high risk for developing substance use disorders, (2) Brief Intervention – specific educational and motivational conversation techniques to identify patients’ readiness for behavior change and to help patients move towards reducing or stopping substance use, and (3) Referral to Treatment – how to help ensure patients will keep appointments with specialty treatment.

The goal of SBIRT is to intervene with patients before substance use problems worsen.  Physicians are encouraged to view substance use disorders as chronic medical conditions that respond to treatment.  This perspective helps reduce stigma and encourages patients to be more forthcoming about their substance use concerns.  Together, health care providers, patients, families and public health officials can help reduce drug use, overdose and death.


The SBIRT training course informs physicians and other medical providers how to identify and address misuse of alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription medication among patients.  The training includes (1) substance use trends and rationale for using SBIRT, (2) screening tools to determine patient risk for developing substance use disorders, (3) brief intervention and motivational techniques to help patients reduce or stop substance use, and (4) most effective ways to refer patients to specialty care when needed.  Training video #1 also includes information on Maryland’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).


Maryland SBIRT: Brief Intervention, Screening & Referral to Treatment

Clinical Tools:

Audit – C

Brief Intervention Scripts


Low Risk Drink Limits

NIDA Quick Screen

Pocket Guide

Readiness Ruler

Professional Training

SBIRT curricula, webinars and other training materials

Maryland SBIRT Project: Online Training for Physicians and Other Medical Professionals – CMEs available October 2017 to August 2019

The video trainings below provide an overview of Maryland’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), and alcohol and drug use Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). Physicians who view all six videos (15 minutes each) may request 1.5 CMEs.  Non-physicians may request a Certificate of Attendance for 1.5 training hours. To obtain CMEs or a certificate, please view all six videos and email a completed Evaluation Form to Bonnie Campbell at

  • Video 1 – Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
  • Video 2 – Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
  • Video 3 – Screening
  • Video 4 – Brief Interventions – Part I
  • Video 5 – Brief Interventions – Part II
  • Video 6 – Referral to Treatment

For more informaton or questions please contact Shayna Banfield at 410-539-0872/1-800-492-1056, ext. 3341.