Mobilizing Support for SBIRT!

The policy and advocacy strategies highlighted in this toolkit can bring much-needed funding and resources to youth SBIRT initiatives. However, to realize these opportunities, advocates will need to engage community members and providers to generate demand for SBIRT. This involves educating the public about the need for youth-focused prevention and working with providers to employ SBIRT as tool to prevent addiction.

Launch a public education campaign to increase public awareness.

To boost support for SBIRT, advocates can start by engaging community members and providing education on prevention. Suggested strategies include:

Generate interest among providers to deliver the SBIRT model by engaging with professional associations.

Provider/professional organizations often have considerable influence over their members. Advocates can work with state and local chapters of these organizations to promote SBIRT with young people. Suggested steps for engagement include:

Think critically about using the opioid crisis as your hook when talking to community members or policymakers.

Given the recent public attention on opioid misuse and overdose deaths, many advocates are using this crisis as part of their argument to persuade policymakers. It is important to remember that addiction has been ravaging communities for decades, but only now, with opioid misuse affecting many white communities, is our society approaching the disease with more compassion. The number of opioid-related deaths is a tragedy that needs our attention, but we should pause before using it in our advocacy.