Marijuana Use Among Young Adults in Miami, Florida Intervention

Marijuana Use Among Young Adults in Miami, Florida Intervention

Community description

  • Miami is the second-largest county in Florida.
  • Most residents are immigrants.
  • High school graduates aged over 25 years- 362,604.
  • Unemployment is 3.9 %.
  • Median household income – 36,638$

Miami is the second-largest city in Florida with the majority of its residents being immigrants. Those with at least a high school certificate and above and aged over 25 years are 363,604. Unemployment is at 3.9% with a median household income of 36,638$ against 53,267$ at the state level (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 2018).

Problem description

  • Marijuana use and abuse – a public health problem.
  • Marijuana use is at 13.2%.
  • Marijuana use disorder is at 1.3%.
  • Caused by unemployment and poverty.
  • Target marketing due to the legalization of medical marijuana is on the rise.

Marijuana use and abuse is a major public health problem in Miami. Its use stands at 13.2% compared to the state’s 13.9%. Those with marijuana use disorder represent 1.3% of the total population compared to 1.5% statewide. Unemployment (3.9%) is a major contributing factor to this usage together with increased targeted marketing of medical marijuana.

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SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment)

  • Screening – involves asking questions.
  • To assess the patient’s status.
  • Brief Intervention – talking to the patient to change use.
  • Structured BI protocols are used.
  • Referral for Treatment – The patient was referred to a treatment center.

SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment, which is an approach used when dealing with drug use and abuse (Wamsley et al., 2018). During the screening, patients are asked questions to ascertain their status. In brief intervention, patients are talked to persuade them to change their usage behavior and in the last stage, they are referred to a reputable center for further help.

SBIRT use with marijuana abuse

  • Patients suspected to abuse marijuana are assessed using SBIRT.
  • Objective – to assess marijuana dependency.
  • Screening is done through guided questions.
  • Brief intervention is done using established protocols.
  • A referral is done where necessary.

Patients with suspected marijuana abuse cases are assessed through SBIRT with the objective of establishing whether they are dependent. Guided questions are used and the BI is done using established protocols or as the involved professional deems fit. In the final phase, referral for treatment, the patient is directed to a reputable care center for further treatment.

Example of SBIRT with marijuana

  • Screening by asking questions
  • For example, have you used marijuana for non-medical reasons?
  • Brief intervention through counseling.
  • The patient is educated on the dangers of marijuana use and how to stop it.
  • A referral is made.

Screening for marijuana use is undertaken by asking whether the patient has used non-medical marijuana in the last 6 months. If yes, they are educated on the dangers and how to stop, which underscores the BI stage. The patient is then referred to a health center for further treatment.

SBIRT outcomes

  • It helps to identify those abusing marijuana.
  • Marijuana use is expected to decrease.
  • During the brief intervention, a person could stop using it.
  • Patient education takes place.
  • Patients are treated clinically.

The use of SBIRT in the intervention of marijuana use and abuse is expected to reduce the overall consumption of the drug. Those with the probability of dependence or misuse are identified early before the problem escalates, educated comprehensively, given techniques to quit, and treated appropriately where necessary. Ultimately, the chances of marijuana use and dependency are reduced significantly.

Community Resources

  • Miami Dade Community Services, 1901 SW 1st Street Miami, FL – 33135
  • (305) 631-8933
  • Sliding Scale Service
  • It is affordable, accessible, accepting, and available.
  • Patients attend once a week.

Miami Dade Community Services, 1901 SW 1st Street Miami, FL – 33135, phone contact: (305) 631-8933, is a community resource that offers Sliding Scale Service for the rehabilitation of marijuana dependency. Treatment fees are adjusted based on a patient’s ability to pay. It is accessible and available as it is open six days a week from 9 AM to 6 PM weekdays and 9 AM to noon on Saturdays.

Implications for practice

  • Involved nurses to be educated comprehensively on SBIRT.
  • To gain relevant knowledge on how to use SBIRT.
  • The data will impact them positively.
  • By learning how to apply the SBIRT tool in nursing practice.
  • Positive patient outcomes are due to early intervention (Rahm et al., 2015).

The involved nurses are expected to gain relevant knowledge on the application of SBIRT in their nursing practice. The data on how SBIRT could intervene early enough in marijuana usage would impact the nurses positively. Patient outcomes would be positive due to early intervention to avoid abuse and dependency.


  • Marijuana use and abuse are major problems in Miami.
  • Young adults are mostly affected.
  • SBIRT could be used for early intervention.
  • Miami Dade Community Services, 1901 SW 1st Street Miami, FL – 33135
  • Positive patient outcomes

Marijuana use and abuse in Miami is a major public health problem affecting young adults disproportionately. SBIRT tool could be used for intervention and prevent the escalation of the problem into dependency. Nurses trained on how to use SBIRT would play a major role in addressing this problem. In Miami, patients could be referred to Miami Dade Community Services, 1901 SW 1st Street Miami, FL – 33135, for further treatment. Overall, SBIRT improves health outcomes.


County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. (2018). Florida: Miami-Dade (DA). Web.

Rahm, A. K., Boggs, J. M., Martin, C., Price, D. W., Beck, A., Backer, T. E., & Dearing, J. W. (2015). Facilitators and barriers to implementing Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in primary care in integrated health care settings. Substance Abuse36(3), 281-288.

Wamsley, M., Satterfield, J. M., Curtis, A., Lundgren, L., & Satre, D. D. (2018). Alcohol and drug screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) training and implementation. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 12(4), 262-272.


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