Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse are teaming up to launch a new public health advocacy campaign — Somebody finally asked me! — to prevent addiction and its harmful effects among Georgia’s youth…
More than 300,000 Georgians have enrolled in health insurance since last October, when new coverage opportunities became available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. These big coverage gains present an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of prevention, both among consumers and policymakers. We are already seeing the lifesaving impact that services like cancer screening, blood pressure checks, and mammograms are having. One screening tool not broadly talked about is Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT).
SBIRT is a cost-effective, evidence based way to identify individuals who are at risk of developing a substance use disorder and can often prevent the development of addiction or refer those in need to treatment. Studies have shown every $1 invested in SBIRT yields $4 in savings. This important set of preventive tools should be available to all Georgians, particularly to our state’s youth.
This important set of preventive tools should be available to all Georgians, particularly to our state’s youth. The rise in heroin use among Georgia adolescents has gained widespread attention in recent months, but the problems goes beyond just heroin. By the time a student reaches ninth grade, 1 in 5 will display signs of alcohol use, a rate which rises to 2 in 5 by the twelfth grade. Approximately 20 percent of twelfth-graders are also engaging in drug use. We know that drug and alcohol use that starts in adolescence all too often becomes a lifelong habit. In fact, 90% of adults with a substance use disorder began using alcohol and/or drugs before the age of 18 and half under the age of 15. With an increased awareness and use of SBIRT, we can work together to prevent drug and substance use disorders among Georgia’s youth and help them lead healthier and more productive lives. To raise awareness about substance use disorders among Georgia’s youth as a public health challenge that can be addressed through prevention, Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse (GCSA) have teamed up to raise awareness of and advocate for widespread use of SBIRT.
To do this, we have created palm cards and book marks to aid those who regularly interact with youth to become better acquainted with SBIRT.
If you are interested in these or other SBIRT materials from our campaign, please contact Laura Colbert, at firstname.lastname@example.org
This education and advocacy campaign is in partnership with Community Catalyst and supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, alongside similar initiatives in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.