Brief Intervention

A brief intervention (BI) is an short conversation focused on increasing awareness of substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.

BI helps the individual...
  • Identify personal and compelling reasons to change
  • Build readiness to change
  • Make commitment to change

The BI usually follows screening, and so the clinician has patient/client self-reported information about substance use habits.

Though it is not a linear process, think of a brief intervention in terms of the following steps:

Begin the Dialogue

Give/Take Feedback

Explore/Enhance Motivation



A brief intervention can be enhanced by using motivational interviewing (MI), a patient-centered conversation style focused on change. Learn more about MI techniques and resources you can use during a brief intervention.