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Screening Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and Prevention and Intervention Program

SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are “at risk” of developing these disorders. SBIRT methodology focuses on the resulting large group of people who may use alcohol or drugs in unhealthy ways, but who are most often not dependent.

Our History

YouthBuild USA began implementing SBIRT eight years ago as a pilot program with 15 programs. SBIRT has now been implemented at 130 YouthBuild programs across the United States.


One of the historic challenges at most YouthBuild USA programs is how to identify and address the challenge of alcohol and drug use among students. For a long time, a significant number of programs have been reporting that substance use and abuse serves as an impediment to the in-program retention of students and is a barrier to achieving outcomes in the classroom and successful post-program placement. Over the past six years, SBIRT has impacted well over 1,500 students and has shown to be effective when fully implemented.

Our Objectives

  • To train staff at 130 YouthBuild USA programs to develop appropriate policies regarding the recruitment, selection, and intervention with YouthBuild students who use drugs and/or alcohol
  • To provide opportunities for program staff to learn about strategies and interventions that they can utilize within the program
  • To guide programs to develop an evidence-based screening and brief treatment model to be implemented appropriately within their YouthBuild program
  • To improve program retention of opportunity youth within the participating YouthBuild programs who have substance abuse issues and who take part in SBIRT
  • To capture and analyze the lessons learned and success of each program participating in SBIRT and develop these lessons into tools for distribution to the broader YouthBuild field

Our Services

  • Prevention and Intervention Technical Assistance and Training
  • Site Visits
  • Counseling and Case Management Training
  • Motivational Interviewing Training and Development Coaching
  • Resources and Tools
  • Regional Trainings