Press Release

Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris Sponsors Inaugural Alcohol Screening Training in Morris CountyScreening Tool Will Identify Youth Using and Abusing Alcohol at an Early Age

sbirtRockaway, NJ, November 19, 2013:  The Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris (CCSHM), an initiative of Morris County Prevention is Key (MCPIK), sponsored the first Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) training in Morris County to 36 Student Assistance Counselors (SACs)at the Morris County Public Safety Academy on Thursday, November 14th. The training provided SACs with the tools necessary to verbally screen for alcohol use and abuse by Morris County youth, intervene and provide referrals to treatment and further counseling if necessary.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk of developing these disorders. Primary care centers, hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers, schools and other community settings provide opportunities for early intervention with at-risk youth before more severe consequences occur.”
CCSHM is focused on preventing and reducing alcohol and drug use and abuse in Morris County. “By age 12, 66 percent of kids have tried alcohol,” stated Barbara Kauffman, Director of Prevention Services at MCPIK and CCSHM Coordinator. “It is essential that youth-reaching professionals are trained and able to intervene when there is evidence of early alcohol or drug abuse. Screening can prevent more serious consequences, it’s low cost and has a high success rate in clinical trials.” The 2008 New Jersey High School Risk & Protective Factor Survey reports that more than half (53%) of Morris County high school students reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days compared with 49.5% of New Jersey high school students overall.

Parsippany High School Student Assistance Counselor, Aimee Doyle, stated “I’m so glad that [we attended] the training. It was very informative. Although I know and use the screening technique, it was great that we were provided with actual scripted lines of how to implement motivational techniques using the specific tools we were given.”
SBIRT is four-pronged. “Screening quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment. Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change. Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care.”

For further information about SBIRT, or the upcoming trainings, contact Barbara Kauffman, Morris County Prevention is Key, Director of Prevention Services, at 973-625-1998 or at [email protected].

Morris County Prevention is Key is a private, non-profit, community based health organization dedicated to the promotion of the health and well being of the Morris County community and the prevention of substance abuse, addiction, violence and related issues. ### END