Addressing Adolescent Substance Use

Substance use is a public health issue among adolescents in the United States, and a leading risk factor for negative physical and mental health outcomes, social and family difficulties, lower academic achievement, involvement with the criminal justice system, and premature death. Because adolescents are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs, providers working with this population need practical tools to initiate open conversations that can facilitate behavior change.

This training will (re)introduce participants to the evidenced-based practice of SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, and its application within primary care practice settings.

SBIRT protocols have demonstrated effectiveness at preventing and reducing substance use and related risks, as well as motivating treatment utilization in a variety of healthcare and human service settings. Using low cost methods to identify and provide brief intervention counseling to affected individuals, providers are able to make a positive impact in reducing the potential harms of unhealthy substance use.

CEs/CMEs are available for this training

Learning Objectives

After completing this training, you will be able to:

  • Describe the impact of substance use on adolescents
  • Recall the basic components of SBIRT
  • Recognize validated tools to screen for unhealthy substance use
  • List two methods of Brief Intervention
  • Identify statewide referral resources for individuals with unhealthy substance use

Course Information

Estimated Time: 1 hour


Course Instructors

  • Alexandra Heinz headshotAlexandra Heinz
    MSW, MPH
  • Lee Ellenberg headshotLee Ellenberg


1 year of access
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