Introduction

Adolescents and young adults are in a critical window of vulnerability to substance use disorders. Risk-taking behaviors like experimentation with drugs and alcohol are common among young people, and early substance use increases the likelihood of developing an addiction later in life. With drug overdose deaths in the United States at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to put resources toward addressing drug and alcohol use among young people before a problem develops.

This toolkit is a roadmap for advocates to identify and leverage a range of funding sources to support an effective prevention strategy called SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment) in schools and medical settings. SBIRT involves asking someone to answer a brief, validated questionnaire about their drug and alcohol use and providing counseling or referring to treatment if a problem exists. SBIRT is currently implemented broadly with youth and adults across the United States in schools and health care settings.