Why SBIRT is Important



Why SBIRT is Important 

Screening is an important first step of the SBIRT process for a simple reason; If we do not directly ask adolescents about their use of alcohol and other substances, it is unlikely that they'll disclose it on their own. Due to a variety of factors including personal discomfort and a lack of knowledge about substance use, many providers do not routinely screen for alcohol or substance use, especially with adolescents. Screening allows us to identify individuals who are at risk for increased use of substances, engaging in harmful levels of substance use or who may be exhibiting signs of a substance use disorder. Alcohol is one of the first substances adolescents try. It is most advantageous to use a brief universal screening questionnaire that can be easily administered, scored and understood by the provider and adolescent.

Video Transcript

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


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

Referral to Treatment

SBIRT Implementation

Conducting SBIRT Virtually



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