Adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment for Alcohol & Other Drug Use
The Department of Mental Health and the Department of Public Health have released the Adolescent Toolkit for Providers called Adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment for Alcohol and Other Drug Use (SBIRT), which will help prevent and reduce alcohol and drug use by teens, an important step towards stopping the opioid crisis in the Commonwealth. The SBIRT Toolkit is a step-by-step health care providers’ guide to prevent and address adolescent substance use. It includes anticipatory guidance ideas and effective screening and intervention tools. It also includes valuable information for providers on a range of treatment services for their patients with more serious substance use disorders.
The SBIRT Toolkit is the work from a partnership between Dr. Sharon Levy, an expert in adolescent substance use treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital; the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at DPH; the Division of Child and Adolescent Services at DMH; and the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP). The project development was funded through the state’s State Innovation Model grant awarded to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
It builds on the success of an earlier guide for providers disseminated by the Department of Public Health in 2008. An important addition to the Toolkit is a new alcohol and substance use screening tool called the Screening to Brief Intervention (S2BI) tool which has been validated for use with adolescents. Developed at Boston Children’s Hospital by Dr. Sharon Levy with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the S2BI is a brief three-question tool that serves as a screening device to inform brief interventions or referral to treatment for teens and their families. It is quick and practical to administer in primary care settings.
The six MCPAP psychiatric consultation teams are using the Toolkit to train pediatric primary care providers statewide in SBIRT practices over the next year. The trainings will target all MCPAP-enrolled pediatric primary care practices, a total of 435 across the state.
To monitor the impact of the Toolkit and MCPAP training initiative on providers’ use of evidence-based screening and treatment practices for adolescent substance use, a survey of pediatric primary care providers will be administered next year. The same survey was administered in 2008 and 2014 and considerable progress was made in providers’ screening practices between the two time points. The state is now perched to accelerate on that progress with this new initiative.
The Toolkit and its various components can be downloaded at the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse (http://massclearinghouse.ehs.state.ma.us/category/BSASSBIRTPROG.html). A full print copy with samples of free Massachusetts Department of Public Health prevention and treatment booklets for youth and parents are available at this location.