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What We Do 

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:

Medical/Behavioral Health Professionals 

The BIG Hospital Initiative hosted by NORC at the University of Chicago is a Learning Collaborative to expand SBIRT to medical and behavioral health professionals and beyond. Through funding from the National SBIRT-ATTC, a SAMHSA-funded center that provides information on the latest research-based best practices related to SBIRT and coordinates national efforts to advance SBIRT, this project was able to offer an SBIRT Suite of Services for an interdisciplinary audience. 


Workplace/EAP and Addiction Professionals 

The BIG Initiative hosted by NORC at the University of Chicago is a national workforce development initiative that engages many of the leading EAP vendors, businesses, EAP professionals, and benefits consultants who are working together to advance the use of SBIRT across the EAP industry. Through government and EAP industry financial support, and support from our partners, the campaign created and delivered a training program to more than 10,000 health and behavioral health professionals that was developed and promoted as a common curriculum of seven national professional associations representing behavioral health clinicians. This effort led to adoption of best practice recommendations and credentialing requirements EAPA for employee assistance professionals.



Through funding from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, NORC at the University of Chicago launched the Adolescent SBIRT Project to encourage the adoption of adolescent SBIRT by social work, nursing, and other practitioners; increase the number of practitioners trained to deliver adolescent SBIRT; and support the implementation of adolescent SBIRT throughout communities. In collaboration with several partners, this project trained over 20,000 individuals, partnered with over 200 schools and organizations to implement the curriculum, and published the Learner's Guide to Adolescent SBIRT and companion slide deck, which serves as an enduring resource for adolescent health practitioners interested in SBIRT education.



Through federal and foundation funding and in collaboration with technology and behavioral health partners, NORC at the University of Chicago launched the Military SBIRT initiative. Through this initiative an online military alcohol SBIRT training system was developed and implemented in military health clinics worldwide. This effort also led to the creation of the Military Health Care Professional’s Guide to Alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, a special adaptation of the Health Professional’s Guide to SBIRT for health care professionals who work with active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families. The development of this online training system and guide made it easy for military health professionals to gain these essential skills.


Connect with Us 

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 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.