Our Work

SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment)


Too often, substance use conditions can go undetected among adolescents. CHDI is helping Connecticut’s juvenile justice system identify youth with substance use problems and connect them to treatment using the evidence-based framework: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). 

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 before more severe consequences occur.

In the past, research on SBIRT has focused on adults in primary care settings, but SBIRT is expanding to youth involved in various child-serving systems. The juvenile justice system is an ideal setting for SBIRT given the high prevalence of substance use and other behavioral health conditions among justice-involved youth. 

In 2016, Policy Research Associates, Inc., with funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, launched a two year initiative to test SBIRT in juvenile justice settings in four states: Connecticut, Minnesota, Ohio, and Louisiana. CHDI is providing implementation support to the Connecticut juvenile justice sites. In addition to screening for substance use using SBIRT, CHDI will help these sites screen for trauma (using the Child Trauma Screen) and other mental health conditions.  

If successful, SBIRT may be expanded to additional juvenile justice and behavioral health settings across the state.

Learn more about the implementation of this initiative in Connecticut.