The Southwest Montana Community Health Center has been chosen to participate in a project to identify teenagers who are at risk for addiction and refer them to treatment, according to a news release.

Called the Facilitating Change for Excellence in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment initiative, it gives primary care providers the tools they need to offer preventive anticipatory guidance and identify adolescents who are using substances. It allows the practice to apply brief interventions to reduce risky use and refer youth in need of specialty addiction treatment if appropriate.

“From our community needs assessments, we know that the people of Butte are concerned about the level of substance use in teenagers and adults,” said Jennifer Malone, CEO of the health center. “This prestigious project will help us tackle this issue and assist teenagers and their families who are struggling with this issue.”

With support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and contributions from esteemed national experts, the National Council for Behavioral Health developed the standardized implementation model which has been adopted by the health center.

“If we can identify a teen at risk for addiction, we are potentially saving a life and a family from a life of suffering,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “Training primary care practitioners to screen and to identify and to intervene early as a routine part of their practice gives them a chance to do what they do best — helping young people grow into healthy adults.”

The Butte-based health center is one of 15 federally qualified health centers nationwide selected to pilot the initiative through an 18-month learning collaborative.