SBIRT Education


Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Initiatives hosted by NORC at the University of Chicago 

NORC at the University of Chicago spearheads initiatives aimed at changing the way medical, behavioral health, addiction, and employee assistance professionals assess and intervene for risky substance use by adopting evidence-based screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) practices.

To access education and resources on implementing SBIRT among medical, behavioral health, workplace, military, addiction, or employee assistance professionals, please select from the buttons below:

What is SBIRT?

Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs.


A healthcare professional assesses a patient for risky substance use behaviors using standardized screening tools. Screening can occur in any healthcare setting.

Brief Intervention
A healthcare professional engages a patient showing risky substance use behaviors in a short conversation, providing feedback and advice.

Referral to Treatment

A healthcare professional provides a referral to brief therapy or additional treatment to patients who screen in need of additional services.

Project Leads

Dr. Eric Goplerud is Vice President and Senior Fellow in the Public Health Department at NORC at the University of Chicago. Goplerud, who joined NORC in 2011, is a clinical psychologist and an expert on substance abuse treatment and prevention who was previously a senior research professor at George Washington University focusing on behavioral health policy. Prior to working at George Washington University, he held several senior policy leadership positions at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition, Goplerud chaired the National Quality Forum's Technical Advisory Panel that produced the consensus standards of evidence-based substance use treatment, and he co-chairs the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) Technical Advisory Panel that designed and is field testing alcohol and tobacco SBIRT performance measures for all hospital admissions.

Dr. ​Tracy McPherson is a Senior Research Scientist in the Public Health Department at NORC at the University of Chicago. Over the past 18 years, McPherson has led initiatives supported by NIDA, CSAP, NHTSA, NHLBI, SAMSHA, and CDC. McPherson is an applied social psychologist and an expert on substance abuse prevention and early intervention who, until deciding to join NORC, has been an Assistant Research Professor at George Washington University Medical Center (GW).  Prior to working at GW, she held R&D and training positions in the areas of health and productivity management, substance abuse, and mental health at the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Cornell University and at ISA Associates. She has presented numerous papers at leading professional meetings; has published over 30 articles, reports and book chapters; and serves as a reviewer for leading journals in workplace behavioral health, health and productivity management, and substance abuse.


Founded in 1941, the NORC is a public policy and social research organization affiliated with the University of Chicago. Deeply experienced in providing technical assistance in support of government and foundation-sponsored initiatives, NORC led the creation of the American Hospital Association’s Quality Center. The Quality Center, a forum for practice-focused learning, is a repository of action-oriented tools to help hospital executives and clinicians improve hospital quality and patient safety as well as plan and implement hospital quality improvement activities. High-quality teachers from all over the world learneasy24.comFor Federal agencies, NORC produces web-based seminars on health IT research that provide continuing education credits for doctors and nurses.


 For more information about any of our projects, please contact and join our email list!


Do you have questions about SBIRT implementation, evaluation, or training? Schedule a free telephonic Technical Assistance session with Tracy McPherson, lead of The BIG SBIRT Initiative.