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Preparing the Workforce to Implement SBIRT through Training, Technical Assistance, and Evaluation

Adolescent SBIRT Curriculum

As key members of an adolescent’s healthcare team, practitioners in the fields of nursing, social work, medicine, and interprofessional care have an obligation to help prevent and reduce substance use and identify mental health risks with their young patients. Asking about substance use and discussing its impact can prevent many harmful effects to the adolescent’s developing brain and potential future. Asking about mental health and identifying risk early can prevent delay of receiving services and supports. Current and future generations of healthcare professionals need to learn the skills to have these essential conversations with adolescents and young adults about substance use and mental health.

Through support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Dr. Tracy L. McPherson and the SBIRT Team from NORC at the University of Chicago's (NORC) Adolescent SBIRT Initiative, the Adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Curriculum is now available to provide training materials, tools, and resources to make it easy to gain these essential skills. 

The Adolescent SBIRT Curriculum is comprised of the following resources to use in varying combinations to accommodate any needs for both live instruction and self-paced learning and assist educators, trainers, and practitioners seamlessly implement SBIRT training with minimal effort:

Adolescent SBIRT Learner's Guide
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The Adolescent SBIRT Learner’s Guide is a 300+ page comprehensive manual for educators and trainers, practitioners, and students to learn to conduct SBIRT with adolescents and young adults. Beyond five newly updated modules, the Appendix contains dozens of screening tools, pocket cards, practice exercises, and other key resources. Learn more and request a free electronic version or low-cost hard-copy version here.

Adolescent SBIRT Slide Deck
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The Adolescent SBIRT Slide Deck contains 600+ beautifully designed presentation slides that mirror the Adolescent SBIRT Learner’s Guide content, with trainer notes and audience engagement activities built-in for each module. Learn more and request a free electronic version here.

Adolescent SBIRT Trainer's Guide
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The Adolescent SBIRT Trainer’s Guide is designed to assist in the dissemination of an adolescent SBIRT training by providing trainers and educators with minute-by-minute instructions for delivering training using the Adolescent SBIRT Slide Deck and the Adolescent SBIRT Learner’s Guide. Learn more and request a free electronic version or low-cost hard-copy version here.

Four-Part On Demand Webinar Series

Using SBIRT to Talk to Adolescents About Substance Use is a four-part on demand webinar series that introduces current and future health professionals to the SBIRT model as a way to learn how to talk with adolescents and young adults about their substance use, discuss what might motivate them to make a decision to reduce or abstain (if needed), and execute a plan to do so. Learn more and access the recordings here.

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SBI with Adolescents Online Simulation Training Programs
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Produced in partnership with Kognito, SBI with Adolescents and SBI with Adolescents: Comorbid Substance Use and Mental Health are two state-of-the-art online simulation training programs designed to prepare health professionals to screen adolescents and young adults for substance use and mental health concerns, conduct brief interventions using evidence-based principles of Motivational Interviewing, and, when necessary, refer patients to further support. Learn more about the simulations and how to obtain access here.

Content Overview

With the Adolescent SBIRT Curriculum, learn about the core elements of SBIRT through five comprehensive modules and get guidance on implementing SBIRT with adolescents and young adults for alcohol and drug use, as well as screen for co-occurring mental health risks.

Module 1 provides an overview of the SBIRT model, why it is important for use with youth, and evidence that supports its efficacy and effectiveness. It also highlights the prevalence and impact of substance use and mental health concerns among youth.

Module 2 provides step-by-step guidance on how to administer, score, and interpret commonly used screening tools for substance use and anxiety, depression, and suicide risk.

Module 3 provides an overview of the Brief Negotiated Interview (BNI) model and step-by-step guidance for conducting a brief intervention using Motivational Interviewing skills.

Module 4 provides information on substance use treatment options best suited for youth, identifies unique challenges practitioners encounter when referring, reviews the process of referral using a warm hand-off, and emphasizes the importance of follow-up.

Module 5 provides an overview of key Motivational Interviewing skills used during brief intervention such as asking permission, using OARS (open-ended questions, affirmation, reflective listening, summarizing), assessing readiness to change, and eliciting change talk.

Curriculum Settings & Use

The Adolescent SBIRT Curriculum was created to prepare health professionals to integrate SBIRT with adolescents and young adults in a range of settings including but not limited to:

  • Primary care

  • Integrated behavioral health 

  • Federally qualified health centers 

  • Hospital emergency, trauma, and inpatient psychiatric departments 

  • Mental health counseling

  • Addiction counseling

  • Criminal and juvenile justice 

  • Schools (K-12) 

  • Colleges and universities 

  • School-based health centers

  • Dental clinics

  • Pharmacies

  • Sexual health clinics

  • Homeless shelters

  • Peer and recovery support services 

  • Faith-based settings

  • Military and veteran healthcare

  • Workplace programs

Curriculum Research Brief
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"Effects of adolescent SBIRT education using simulated learning technology in health professional training"

Educational Exemplars
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Featured university programs that excelled in implementation and evaluation of Adolescent SBIRT education

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Easily share information about the Adolescent SBIRT Curriculum with your colleagues

Want more information on how to utilize the Adolescent SBIRT Curriculum and/or assistance customizing it to meet your educational and training needs? Please contact us!

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