Activities that are sub-clinical or pre-treatment (ASAM .05) and designed to explore and address problems or risk factors that appear to be related to substance use, and/or to assist individuals in recognizing the harmful consequences or inappropriate substance use. Early Intervention services are for individual(s) whose problems and risk factors appear to be related to substance abuse but do not meet any diagnostic criteria for substance abuse related disorders. Such individuals are defined "at risk" and early intervention may be delivered in a wide variety of settings to at-risk adolescents or adults with the length of such service varying according to the type of activity. The ultimate goal is the reduction of the effects of substance abuse within the targeted community by identifying and engaging those in need of services. Early Intervention shall be provided to an identified individual (in an individual or group setting) and documented in a client record.

Early intervention services are delivered in a variety of settings, including clinical offices, schools, work sites, community centers, or an individual's home.

Substance abuse treatment services and this early intervention component are delivered by community-based agencies who are under contract to DHS/Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Generally, these services are available locally in communities throughout the state. This system enables clients to be assessed and treated as close to their home communities as possible, allows communities to take ownership of their programs, and facilitates public information. Treatment services are delivered through a continuum approach, with individual clients moving from one level of care to another based on their assessed needs.

In the DHS/OASA substance abuse treatment system in FY 2001, a total of 22,031 early intervention services were provided to 21,014 persons. These individuals included 14,477 persons over age 17; 6,217 persons between 12 and 17 years of age; and 343 persons under 12 years of age.