Two to three brief training sessions can significantly increase pediatricians' use of techniques for identifying and treating young people with potential alcohol, substance use, and mental health problems.
This is according to a new study in a large pediatric primary care clinic. Collectively known as screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), such techniques could be important tools for preventing and treating these common problems among young people.
The study also found that pediatric practices can improve support for patients who need these services by adding behavioral health clinicians to their teams.
A report of the study, which was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is now online in JAMA Pediatrics.
Underage drinking and drug use, which often coexist with mental health problems, are common and dangerous. Risks of heavy drinking in adolescence, for example, range from injuries...