SBIRT is a process by which medical professionals use evidence to identify substance use disorders in patients and interfere with treatment services before the disorder takes control of the patient. This includes a screening, a brief intervention, and a referral to treatment. The SBIRT process qualifies for three and a half free contact hours of continuing medical education credit, making it a great, cost-efficient opportunity for physicians, specifically those specializing in substance abuse. The SBIRT process can be utilized for multiple medical situations including alcohol abuse, drug abuse, tobacco abuse, depression, and anxiety.


The most efficient way to reduce the risk of alcohol abuse is to advise individuals to reduce their alcohol intake levels, provide feedback about their drinking patterns and triggers, and encourage them to set goals for moderation. The SBIRT continuing medical education program allows physicians to assist their patients in the goal-setting and achieving process. Alcohol abuse and misuse specifically tend to be reduced significantly more when individuals participate in multiple intervention sessions.


Excessive tobacco use is attributed to over four hundred thousand deaths per year. It has been known to cause lung cancer, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, strokes, and more. Furthermore, smoking tobacco can affect bystanders, specifically expecting mothers, and may cause premature births and stillbirths. Tobacco usage has been connected with anxiety and depression, putting individuals with mental health disorders at a higher risk for frequent, intense smoking episodes compared to those without mental health disorders. The SBIRT continuing medical education program in regards to tobacco use consists of five crucial steps including asking about tobacco use, advising individuals to quit, assessing their willingness to quit, assisting them in the process of quitting, and arranging follow-up appointments and support.

Anxiety and Trauma

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health disorders seen by primary care physicians (as of 2010). The SBIRT screening process can catch anxiety disorders at their roots and identify their relevance to substance abuse. Passive psychoeducation and bibliotherapy have proven to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, and are generally cost-effective options for physicians participating in the SBIRT program. Trauma is also known to have a significant impact on levels of alcohol and tobacco use and abuse. SBIRT screenings are designed to find, highlight, and address trauma and anxiety in order to prevent and control possible substance abuse.

If you’re looking for a free continuing medical education program to improve your medical skills, knowledge, and experience with hands-on interventions, consider the University of Utah’s free CME in Salt Lake City.

The University of Utah offers a SBIRT program that qualifies as free CME in Salt Lake City.