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CADCA project seeks out best practices in SBIRT

June 6, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The efforts of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) carry a prevention-focused mission, but a newly funded initiative for the organization will bridge the worlds of prevention and treatment.

CADCA this week announced receiving a $1 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to help identify best practices at the community level for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) initiatives targeting young people. The overall goal is to further efforts to reduce underage drinking and to share best practices in this area with other communities.

Five community-based coalitions in underserved communities will participate in this grant-funded initiative, and CADCA is seeking participants that already have made some inroads with SBIRT.

“If they're already doing work in SBIRT services, this will help them get to scale,” says Albert Terrillion, CADCA's deputy director of evaluation and research. “This is about helping coalitions build on their partnerships with schools, healthcare groups, and others.”

Maximizing potential

SBIRT is hardly a new intervention, but Terrillion says it still has a great deal of room to grow. “You'll get maybe one time out of eight or 10 where a healthcare agency will have familiarity with the mechanism,” he says.

The grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which identifies preventing substance use as one of its subject priorities, will allow CADCA to build on work completed last year when it convened an advisory panel on the use of SBIRT services at the community level.

Terrillion says CADCA will look for geographic and demographic diversity in the selected coalitions, which should be announced soon. A report that was issued from the advisory group's work outlined some recommendations for participating coalitions, including at least a two-year history and some past engagement with SBIRT work.

An online toolkit will be created out of the work and findings of the selected coalitions, Terrillion says. “This repository will be a resource for other coalitions,” he says.

A press release from CADCA characterizes the organization's interest in SBIRT as a recognition of the need for broader approaches to combat underage drinking. “While universal prevention efforts are effective, CADCA recognizes that there is also a need for integrating risk reduction approaches with adolescent populations,” the release states.