Identifying and addressing teen substance use in schools

Building from the Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) research in medical settings, TRI developed a standardized prevention and early intervention protocol, tailored to different school settings and to different age groups. This approach combines techniques used in adolescent risk assessment and public health messaging to create a combined prevention/early intervention program that is effective, sustainable and comports with student curricula and teaching operations. The program includes a web-based screening that is educational and motivational for all students regardless of their use. Motivational sessions for students who do not use are effective in strengthening positive decision making and private sessions with students who report use can be effective in reducing use. When identified use is severe, parents can be engaged and specialized care can be recommended. The program has been approved for Medicaid funding in most states and can be delivered at least annually throughout the middle and high school years.