The NJ SBIRT program is made possible through a grant from the NJ Department of Children and Families, and is conducted through these partnerships:

ADOLESCENT SUBSTANCE USE IN NEW JERSEY

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics 52,000 (7.71%) of 12- to 17-year-olds in New Jersey reported using drugs within the last month of being surveyed. The 12- to 17-year-olds surveyed from New Jersey were found to be 3.66% more likely to use alcohol than the average American in their age group. In New Jersey, in the last year, 2.52% of 12- to 17-years-old met the criteria for an Illicit Drug Use Disorderand 1.48% met the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder. 

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect or household dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders. ACEs are strongly related to the development of a range of health problems throughout a person’s life, including those associated with substance misuse. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) 

SCREENING, BRIEF INTERVENTION, AND REFERRAL TO TREATMENT (SBIRT) 

SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. It is an approach based on scientific evidence that aims to identify patients who may be using substances and offers early intervention services to those at risk of developing substance use disorders. This public health approach is designed to provide effective and timely services to individuals who may be struggling with substance abuse. (SAMHSA and AAP) 

ABOUT NJ SBIRT

NJ SBIRT (New Jersey Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) provides both in-person and virtual opportunities to learn more about the SBIRT model and adolescent substance use, misuse, and dependence. Leveraging pediatric expertise, NJ SBIRT brings together pediatric clinicians in primary and specialty care, as well as community-based clinicians, school physicians, school nurses, school counselors, NJ Statewide Student Support Services (NJ4S) hub staff, and other school-based mental health service providers from all 21 counties throughout NJ for shared learning opportunities on topics related to increasing awareness and implementation of the SBIRT model and adolescent substance use. We strive to encourage healthcare teams to implement the SBIRT model using a trauma-informed approach to provide strength-based care to their patients and families.

NJ SBIRT will launch a Project ECHO® educational series in September 2024, that will bring together pediatric clinicians in primary and specialty care, as well as community-based clinicians and their practice teams to help increase awareness of adolescent substance use and implement the SBIRT model. This quality improvement (QI) program will include a cohort of 15-20 NJ pediatric practices that is aimed at improving provision of care regarding substance use through integration of the SBIRT model. This 8-month ECHO series will require participating pediatricians to attend all Project ECHO sessions and will incorporate QI methodologies. The hub team will provide education for pediatricians and their practice teams about the importance of substance use prevention, screening for early identification of risk factors and strategies for brief interventions in the practice setting.

Utilizing a trauma-informed approach, the NJ SBIRT program has these goals: 


  • Increase awareness of substance use, misuse, and dependence, as it relates to other mental/behavioral health conditions
  • Increase screening for substance use during adolescent well care visits using recommended validated, standardized screening tools 
  • Increase use of brief intervention, including motivational interviewing techniques 
  • Provide anticipatory guidance about risks for substance use among patients with mental/behavioral health issues and prevention strategies families can implement 
  • Increase referrals, care coordination & tracking to community-based care for adolescents identified as needing treatment to ensure that adolescents are receiving appropriate treatment 
A smiling group of teens walk forward

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Helping New Jersey’s families through substance use and recovery, requires a community-wide approach. We encourage community organizations and services to connect with our team to find out the best way to share free and accessible resources with New Jersey healthcare clinicians and their patients. If you would like to learn more about this important work, please join our email list to find out about future events and opportunities to get involved!

Educational Dinners 

NJ SBIRT will host three regional dinners in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state to educate attendees about the SBIRT model and recruit pediatric clinicians in primary and specialty care and community-based clinicians to join the NJ SBIRT Project ECHO in the fall. Community partners from each region will be invited to encourage networking and sharing of resources to ensure connection to resources.

Accreditation Statement: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Medical Society of New Jersey. New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics is accredited by the Medical Society of New Jersey to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation Statement: New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ABP MOC Part II: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the learner to earn up to 1 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics’ (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit learner completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABP MOC credit.

Informational Webinars:

NJ SBIRT will host two virtual informational webinars in 2024 to educate participants about the SBIRT model and recruit pediatric clinicians in primary and specialty care and community-based clinicians to join the NJ SBIRT Project ECHO in the fall.   

NJ SBIRT Project ECHO

Pediatric and community-based healthcare teams will be encouraged to apply for our QI program that starts in fall of 2024. Applications to apply for this program will be released in summer 2024. Sessions will include education about the importance of substance use prevention, screening for early identification of risk factors and use and misuse of substances, strategies for brief interventions in the practice setting, including motivational interviewing, and referral to treatment for adolescents in need.