By the time they are seniors, 64 percent of high school students have tried alcohol, 48.9 percent have taken an illegal drug, and 18.3 percent have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose. Substance use disorders are costly to individuals, families, and communities. Misuse and addiction is a key contributing factor to the leading causes of death among teens and leads to negative health, social, and behavioral outcomes including physical and mental health problems, and difficulty achieving success in school and in the workplace.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with or at risk for developing substance use disorders. It has been used primarily in community-based health settings, and has been shown to be an effective framework for use with adults. A key aspect of SBIRT is the integration and coordination of screening, early intervention, and treatment components into a system of care.