Adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment

Adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment

CSWE was awarded a subcontract from the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago to support the integration of substance abuse screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) into general undergraduate and graduate social work curricula rather than in advanced practice or specialty classes only.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded a $2 million grant to NORC to fund education of future nurses and social workers to give them the basic skills needed to identify and treat substance use among young people. Using the grant, NORC will work with CSWE, the Center for Clinical Social Work, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and a consortium of as many as 60 nursing and social work schools to develop and put into practice an SBIRT curriculum for use in undergraduate and graduate social work and nursing curricula.

What is SBIRT?

SBIRT is a comprehensive approach to recognizing and providing services to young people who may have drug and alcohol problems. It involves quickly screening young people, assessing the degree of risk, conducting a brief intervention designed to help motivate them to change their behavior, and referring them to treatment if necessary. Research has shown the SBIRT process works well with adults and that it is a highly promising approach for working with younger people. Despite its promise, the approach is not yet widely taught in social work and nursing programs.

Learning Network

All schools of social work were invited to participate in a learning collaborative with NORC to share their experiences, learn from other educators about integrating substance abuse education into existing curricula, and obtain additional resources and materials. 


Free Webinar! The Impact of Substance Use on the Developing Adolescent Brain. January 26, 2021, 3:00 4:00 pm ET. 

If you would like to discuss or learn more about this collaborative project, please contact Cydne Smith Nash.

To learn more about NORC's other upcoming webinars and to access free on-demand webinars, visit