Use of brief interventions for drug abusing teenagers within a middle and high school setting

J Sch Health. 2007 Apr;77(4):196-206. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00191.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation*
  • School Health Services*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • United States / epidemiology