Adolescence is often a period for risky behavior and experimentation with alcohol and drugs. An estimated 70 percent of high school students have tried alcohol and 49 percent of high school seniors have used an illegal drug at least once. As a population, adolescents are more vulnerable than adults are to addiction. Early identification of risky substance use is critical to prevent addiction and long-term health and social issues. Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), an evidence-based strategy for addressing substance use disorder in adults, is a promising integrated approach to identify adolescents at-risk for substance use disorder or treating youth already suffering from its effects.
This resource center provides practical tools and strategies for health plans and providers interested in using SBIRT for adolescents in a primary care setting. It is a product of Improving Access to SBIRT Services for Adolescents, a three-year learning collaborative that supported safety net health plans to increase access to SBIRT among adolescents in the primary care setting. The project was led by the Center for Health Care Strategies in partnership with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, with funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.