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The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Competency and Dissemination project is a collaborative project between the university’s psychology and social work programs. SBIRT serves as an early intervention for individuals struggling with substance use and those at risk of developing substance abuse disorders. SBIRT curricula will be integrated into programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. SBIRT training is also offered to the staff of community-based organizations and public and Catholic schools that serve as practicum and field placement sites for OLLU students.

SBIRT Mission

To provide quality, interactive training for trainers of health professionals to support their students in the detection and management of patients with or at risk of substance abuse.


Drinking and drug problems are common and can increase the risk for health, family, legal and social problems. As the cause of an estimated 25% of the annual deaths in the United States, substance abuse disorder in both adults and adolescents represent a serious public health problem (NOH, 1993). The early onset of substance abuse during adolescence is highly predictive of becoming addicted later in life (Grant, et al., 2004; Grant, et al., 2006; Hingson, et al., 2006). The SBIRT approach is designed to invite the client’s voice in regard to what role alcohol might play in their lives and provide an opportunity to intervene and education about the associated risks.

“SBIRT is an evidence-based practice that reduces short- and long-term health care costs, decreases the frequency and severity of alcohol and drug use, and has been successfully implemented in diverse sites across the life span.

It saves lives and is consistent with an overall wellness approach. It is flexible so that it can be, and has been, used effectively in a wide range of settings”…SAMHSA, 2001

The OLLU SBIRT program was funded by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), grant number 1H79TI026024-01.


Maureen “Mo” Cuevas, PhD, LCSW
Professor of Social Work
Dean, College of Professional Studies
Project Director