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HealthiER You


HealthiER You is a computer-based brief intervention (CBI) designed to reduce drug use in adults.

The HealthiER You computer-based brief intervention (CBI) uses a touchscreen tablet computer and audio headphones to deliver a 30-minute, single-session motivational intervention. Users select a virtual health counselor from 6 options (varied by race and gender) to guide the user through the intervention. Based on the principles of motivational interviewing, the CBI prompts users to select personal strengths and goals, concerns, perceived benefits of decreased drug use, and methods to reduce drug use from provided lists. The CBI tailors feedback to user selections. Feedback includes a review of user goals, consequences of use, benefits of change, and stage of change identification. The intervention also uses fictional short story vignettes about drug use consequences (depicted through still images and voiceover narration) to motivate change. HealthiER You develops a change plan with the user by identifying personal obstacles and tailored strategies for reducing drug use.


Theoretical Approach(es):
Brief Motivational Intervention

Target Substance(s):
Other drugs

Target Outcome(s):
Reduction of drug use

Adults (18+)


African American

Emergency Department

Geographic Location(s):

United States


  • A randomized controlled trial of brief interventions to reduce drug use among adults in a low‐income urban emergency department: The HealthiER You study

    Blow F, Walton M, Bohnert A, et al. Addiction. 2017. 112(8): 1395-1405. doi: 10.1111/add.13773

    Summary: Researchers recruited 780 adults with recent drug use from a low-income urban emergency department (ED) to examine the effects of HealthiER You on drug use outcomes at 3, 6, and 12 months post-intervention. Research staff identified potential participants through electronic medical records. Staff approached identified individuals in the ED and ED waiting room for eligibility screening (past 3-month drug use). Researchers randomized participants to receive a tablet computer-based brief intervention (CBI) (n = 257), a therapist-delivered brief intervention (BI) (n = 257), or an enhanced usual care control (n = 266). The CBI and BI presented parallel content through 30-minute, single-session motivational interventions. Participants completed a drug use assessment, underwent a urine drug screen, and reported past 90-day substance use using the timeline follow-back (TLFB) method at baseline and 3-, 6-, and 12-months post-intervention. The CBI and BI did not have significant effects on total number of drug use days at 3 months. The CBI produced significant long-term reductions in total marijuana use days (averaged over 6 and 12 months), relative to the enhanced usual care control. The BI demonstrated significant short-term (3 months) and long-term (6 and 12 months) efficacy in reducing total number of marijuana use days, compared with the enhanced usual care control. Compared with the control, the BI also yielded significant long-term reductions in total number of drug use days (any drug) and weighted drug use days (e.g. a participant who used 3 drugs in 1 day has 3 weighted drug use days), averaged over 6- and 12-months post-intervention.

    Take away: Among drug-using adults in emergency department care, the HealthiER You computerized brief intervention (CBI) demonstrated preliminary long-term efficacy in reducing marijuana use compared with enhanced usual care.