Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment for Substance Use. Part I: Introduction to SBIRT and Screening Tools for Substance Use.

Cape Town, South Africa,
ISSUP Global

ISSUP is pleased to present a webinar on Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). This two-part series has been organised as a collaboration between ISSUP Global, The South Africa International Technology Transfer Centre (ITTC) and the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 

Time: 1:00 PM SAST | 11:00 AM UK Time

Register for the Webinar


Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive public health approach for detection, early intervention, and referral to treatment services to people using substances in a harmful or risky way. This evidence-based approach has been demonstrated to be effective in facilitating an integrated treatment approach for clients. 

The two-part  SBIRT webinar series will seek to: 

  • Identify the components of SBIRT and to facilitate understanding the goal of SBIRT.  
  • Provide the basis for a health systems approach to integrating SBIRT into health care. 
  • Facilitate understanding of the meaning of universal screening.  
  • Make explicit the levels of risk and their implications. 
  • Introduce the recommended best-practice screening tools with a focus on the WHO ASSIST 
  • To introduce to Referral to Treatment (RT), the last step in the SBIRT model 

Part I of the webinar series will delve into:

Aim of SBIRT 

  • To identify the components of SBIRT. 
  • To understand the goal of SBIRT. 
  • Contextualise and highlight significance of SBIRT integration into primary health care 

ASSIST screening  

  • Provide overview of the structure of the questions of the ASSIST 
  • Overview of the various substances (licit, illicit and over the counter (OTC)) 
  • Model the use of the web app ASSIST 

Intended audience: 

  • All health care workers to attend, both professional and non-professional. Audience can be from any type of healthcare or social facility.  

Learning outcomes  

Part I: 

  • To understand the SBIRT model. 
  • To be able to screen for risky substance use, by using validated screening tools. 


Ms Shaheema Allie, (B.A. (Hons) Psychology) 

Shaheema Allie serves as the Assistant Director of the South Africa International Technology Training Centre (SA ITTC) and oversees the training and curriculum development and coordination, whereby she develops and adapts curricular to be disseminated nationally. She trains professional and non-professionals across South Africa in Motivational Interviewing and Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and is part of a few research projects at UCT. She has also facilitated on the web app ASSIST development. She is also the course convenor for the PGDip in Public Mental Health and is a lecturer on the PGDip in Addictions Care at University of Cape Town (UCT).   

Mr Fergus Ashburner (M.A. Clinical Psychology) 

Fergus Ashburner is a clinical psychologist by training. He is the course convenor of the Post Graduate Diploma in Addictions Care at the University of Cape Town. He works in both inpatient and outpatient settings assisting persons with recovery from substance use disorders. Fergus is a senior trainer on the SA ITTC in Motivational Interviewing and the SBIRT model. 

Kindly note this is Part I of a two-part webinar series.



Interpretation Instructions for Spanish speakers:

Access the Spanish Interpretation:

Enter the meeting code: ISSUP
Select the language channel Spanish

A few important details on how to listen to the interpretation:

By phone: The best way is to open the Interactio app and listen to the interpretation on your phone while watching the video meeting through your computer;

By computer: If you want to listen to the interpretation on the same device as the video meeting, you will need to select 'No Audio' in the GoToWebinar Control Panel, and only listen through the Interactio web app at


Webinars and online events delivered and hosted by the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) are provided for informational purposes only. They are educational in nature and do not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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