Referral to Treatment


Referral to Treatment

Referral to treatment is the process of connecting at-risk clients with other service providers for further assessment, medical and behavioral health intervention, or specialized treatment. Providers may sometimes find this step of SBIRT to be difficult if they are not familiar with resources in the community. The good news is that most substance use and prevention professionals have expertise in identifying and locating community resources for clients, and if they don't, then we encourage professionals to consult with their colleagues about resources available in the community. When making referrals, it is important to involve the client and their parent/guardian in the decision-making process. Further, we recommend that providers help their clients schedule a referral appointment while they're still in the office. If available, you can also arrange for an inter-agency facilitator to help with the referral.

Video Transcript

For more information, please enroll in our eLearning course, Introduction to Adolescent SBIRT from a Prevention Perspective on


The Introduction to Adolescent SBIRT from a Prevention Perspective e-learning course provides an overview of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol for use with adolescents (ages 9 to 22). The content of this e-learning course was designed for prevention professionals, school personnel, social workers, addictions counselors, and other non-medical professionals working with adolescents and young adults, in HHS Region 8. Professionals working and residing outside of HHS Region 8 states are welcome to take this course, however, the data sections in the course are specific to HHS Region 8 states (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY).

Other resources from the Introduction to Adolescent SBIRT from a Prevention Perspective e-learning course 


Conducting SBIRT Virtually


Short Videos: 

SBIRT Research with Adolescents

Protecting the Adolescent Brain

Why SBIRT is Important

SBIRT Implementation

Conducting SBIRT Virtually




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