Background: Promising and encouraging results have been recently reported on the use of briefer interventions for adolescent drug abusers. Because middle- and high-school-based drug abuse intervention programs have grown in popularity over the past several decades, the use of brief interventions (BIs) in school settings merits consideration.
Methods: We review several clinical and school contextual issues pertaining to the scientific efficacy, feasibility, and application of BIs for students who are abusing drugs.
Results: Several advantages for employing BIs in a school setting are identified, including the relatively high base rate of students with mild-to-moderate drug involvement and the likelihood that school counselors can readily learn BI techniques. Caveats of implementing BIs include practical, systemic, and clinical barriers.
Conclusions: Despite concerns, schools are a viable setting in which to screen youth for drug abuse problems and to conduct a BI.