Dr. Tracy McPherson of NORC at the University of Chicago reviews the newly-released Adolescent SBIRT Instructor’s Toolkit for Social Work, Nursing, and Other Educators. Available at no cost to educators and practitioners in all disciplines and settings, the toolkit includes the Learner’s Guide to Adolescent SBIRT and companion slide decks to teach the skills needed to screen and intervene with adolescents who engage in substance use. Dr. McPherson also describes a separate, complementary, interactive web-based program that allows learners to practice and receive feedback on their use of brief intervention and motivational interviewing skills.

​This Toolkit was funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and developed by NORC, Kognito, the Council on Social Work Education, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Learn more about the project at


Tracy L. McPherson is a Senior Research Scientist in the Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Criminal Justice Studies Department.

Over the past 13 years, McPherson has led initiatives supported by NIDA, CSAP, NHTSA, NHLBI, SAMSHA, and CDC. She co-leads the Brief Intervention Group (BIG) Initiative aimed at changing the way employee assistance and providers of behavioral healthcare services assess and intervene for substance abuse by adopting evidence-based screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment practices. McPherson is an applied social psychologist and an expert on substance abuse prevention and early intervention who, until deciding to join NORC, has been an Assistant Research Professor at George Washington University Medical Center (GW). Prior to working at GW, she held R&D and training positions in the areas of health and productivity management, substance abuse, and mental health at the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Cornell University and at ISA Associates.

Since 2005, McPherson has led workplace substance abuse prevention and treatment research and training programs within “Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems,” a research program at GW supported by grants from Pew Charitable Trusts, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, industry, and various Federal agencies. She also directed the Center for Integrated Behavioral Health Policy. McPherson is a board member and chair of the Knowledge Transfer and Research Committee of the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA). She has presented numerous papers at leading professional meetings; has published over 30 articles, reports and book chapters; and serves as a reviewer for leading journals in workplace behavioral health, health and productivity management, and substance abuse.

Additional Resources

PowerPoint Slides 
The Adolescent SBIRT Curriculum Page