Brief Intervention Program for Adolescents who Use Alcohol and Other Drugs, PIBA [only available in Spanish]

Implementing Organization

PIBA is for adolescents between 12 and 18 years old who are presently studying, have experienced adverse consequences of substance use within the last six months, and do not have dependence symptoms. This evidence-based intervention, available in online and face-to-face formats and only in Spanish, comprises five serialized phases that rely on validated tools such as the POSIT questionnaire and techniques and approaches like motivational interviewing. At its core, the program focuses on six treatment sessions to address critical topics such as the adolescents' communication with those around them, the decision-making process with an emphasis on reflecting on the pros and cons, discussing substance use risk situations taking into consideration individualized risk factors, implementation of action plans and how to set life goals. The final part of the program includes follow-up with at least one session six months after finishing the intervention to evaluate long-term change. 


Website for participants 
Website for therapists 
There have been various studies over more than twenty years where the program's effectiveness has been evaluated in different populations of adolescents, and we found changes in consumption patterns and a decrease in related consequences, both at the end of the intervention and in follow-ups. In addition, knowledge transfer studies have been carried out to achieve the adoption of the program in distinct types of institutions and different countries. And we have managed to have a flexible program with cost-effective results. 

Accomplishments to Date

The PIBA program has benefited more than 5,000 adolescents in Spanish-speaking countries. 
To date, the PIBA team has trained 2500 therapists in six countries: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Spain. 
The materials for delivering therapeutic interventions to adolescents and conducting training with service providers are in Spanish, both in printed and electronic formats. Spanish-speaking therapists receive six-week-long courses from the PIBA training team.  

Project Activities
  1. Establish contact with interested institutions and professionals. 
  2. Enroll healthcare professionals as PIBA therapists. 
  3. Perform six-week-long training for PIBA therapists. 
  4. Set up a program with specific goals on the number of adolescents to receive the PIBA intervention, which includes follow-up and evaluation metrics. 
  5. Conduct follow-up. 
  6. Research the outcome of PIBA implementation. 
Global Level Outcomes
  • An expanded global health workforce's capacity to deliver accessible, timely, and non-discriminatory services to people facing the health threats and consequences of drug use disorders. 
  • Updated programs, materials, and other resources to tackle consequences to health and other areas in people who use substances. 
National Level Outcomes
  • Enhanced services to address drug use disorders in the adolescent population. 
  • A structured network of information on the delivery of evidence-based drug use disorder treatments.
  • Updated documents on managing substance use disorders in adolescents. 

JoseLuis Vazquez-Martinez, JVazquez [at] oas [dot] org (JVazquez[at]oas[dot]org)

Current State Participants