This resource Doorways to Conversation: Brief Intervention on Substance Use with Girls and Women focuses on brief intervention on substance use with girls and women in the preconception and perinatal period.
Regular and ongoing conversations in primary care about substance use reduces stigma and normalizes substance use as part of life. Service providers are encouraged to have discussions with all women, not just those who they believe are more likely to have substance use problems. Brief interventions are collaborative conversations between an individual and a health care or social service provider about a health issue.
Brief intervention focuses on preventing and reducing harmful or risky patterns of substance use and can also include addressing underlying concerns that may be affecting substance use (e.g., depression, gender-based violence). Because substance use has wide-ranging effects on many different aspects of life, service providers across a range of health care and social service settings can have an important role in addressing the potential harms of substance use and improving girls’ and women’s overall health. Brief interventions may be formal or informal, structured or unstructured, short or long, a one-time event, or a series of conversations over a period of time. Brief intervention doesn’t have to be complicated — research shows that simply asking girls and women about their substance use can motivate many girls and women to reduce or change their substance use.