Course Title: Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: HWSS5661C

Course Title: Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4264 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs Work

Course Contact : Xenia Girdler

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4660

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the knowledge and skills required by all workers who may be working primarily with clients with alcohol and other drugs (AOD) issues and provides a basic introduction to values, services and approaches applied to work in this sector

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector


1.Work within the context of the AOD sector

Performance Criteria:

1.1Reflect consideration in all work in the sector of the historical context of the sector
1.2Reflect consideration in all work of the changing social, political and economic context
1.3Reflect consideration of the interrelationship of issues affecting clients in all work in the AOD sector


2.Develop knowledge of the AOD sector

Performance Criteria:

2.1Demonstrate consideration and basic understanding of the essential values and philosophy of the sector in work undertaken
2.2Demonstrate in all work basic knowledge of the current issues which impact on the sector and different models of work
2.3In collecting information about the AOD sector, collect and use the views of key stakeholders and representatives from relevant target groups
2.4Apply understanding of risks related to personal safety when working in AOD sector


3.Develop knowledge of work requirements across a range of settings

Performance Criteria:

3.1Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the range of settings supporting people with alcohol and other drug needs
3.2Demonstrate the client variables that might indicate the most appropriate service delivery setting


4.Demonstrate commitment to the central philosophies of the AOD sector

Performance Criteria:

4.1Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the essential values and philosophy of the sector in all work undertaken
4.2Demonstrate a commitment to access and equity principles in all work in the sector
4.3Identify personal values and attitudes regarding AOD use and take these values and attitudes into account when planning and implementing all work activities


5.Communicate effectively in a community services setting

Performance Criteria:

5.1Develop, review and revise personal skills in communication as an ongoing priority to address organisation standards
5.2Exercise caution in communicating personal information by oral and written means to ensure confidentiality of client and staff matters
5.3Routinely apply workplace protocols and procedures in all workplace communication to support accuracy and understanding of information provided and received
5.4Recognise individual and cultural differences and make any adjustments needed to facilitate the achievement of identified outcomes
5.5Conduct interpersonal communication with clients and colleagues in a manner that enhances a client-centred approach consistent with organisation standards
5.6Take appropriate measures to resolve conflict and interpersonal differences in the workplace


6.Work ethically

Performance Criteria:

6.1Follow ethical guidelines in decision-making in all work undertaken with an awareness of potential ethical complexity in own work role
6.2Reflect understanding and compliance with the principles of duty of care and legal responsibilities in all work undertaken
6.3Refer any breach or non adherence to standard procedures or adverse event to appropriate personnel
6.4Maintain confidentiality of any client matter in line with organisation policy and procedure
6.5Show respect for rights and responsibilities of others through considered application of work practices
6.6Reflect current working knowledge and understanding of employee and employer rights and responsibilities in all work undertaken
6.7Recognise, avoid and/or address any conflict of interest

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

In this course you will be provided with a range of opportunities to enhance and extend your skills, knowledge and attitude in the field of AOD work. Classes are run three days per week. A detailed timetable is also available on the RMIT website. Most classes run for three hours and are facilitated by recognised professionals in the community services sector and RMIT staff. A variety of learning styles are catered for and learning will take place via interactive experiential tasks combined with more didactic theory based exercises. All in-class learning will compliment the practical placement competent of this course where you are required to complete a total of two hundred (200) hours over the course of the year. There will also be two course-related field trips - Arradale psychiatric institution and Dax Collection gallery - scheduled in March. These trips are intended to provide you with important insight into the socio-political and historical context of the community services sector in Victoria.

All courses and learning activities will be supported and complimented by RMIT’s e-learning tool "Blackboard".

Teaching Schedule

DayTime StartTime EndCourseDate
Monday1.30pm4.30pmProvide services to clients with complex needs19/3/2012, 26/3, 2/4, 16/4, 23/4, 30/4, 21/5
 Monday 6pm 9pm Work effectively in the AOD sector
 6/2/2012 - 5/3/2012
 Tuesday 9.30am 12.30pm Use targeted communication skills to build relationships
 21/5/2012 - 11/6/2012
 Tuesday 9.30am 12.30pm work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers
 21/5/2012 - 11/6/2012
 Tuesday 1.30pm 4.30pm work effectively in mental health settings
 13/3, 27/3,17/4,24/4, 1/5, 22/5 - 12/6
 Wednesday 9.30am 12.30pm work effectively with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness
18/4, 2/5, 23/5 - 13/6
 Wednesday 1.30pm
 4.30pm work within legal and ethical framework
 18/4, 2/5, 23/5 - 13/6
 Thursday 9.30am 4.30pm Apply advanced first aid
 9/2, 16/2, 1/3, 8/3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

There are a variety of tools used to assess this course, a major tool is 200 hours of practical placement that will provide you with the learning opportunities necessary to develop the required skills knowledge and attitude.
Other assessment tasks involve:

  • Short essays where you will be expected to write an answer to a question in detail, and to draw conclusions about issues.
  • Class presentation where you will be expected to conduct a brief session in class, to lead discussion and to provide information for other students.
  • Participation in class discussions and activities.
  • Reflective Journals you will be expected to provide a written record of your experiences during the year - in class and in practical placement.
  • Blackboard/On-line assessment you will participate in regular on-line forums, blogging and small assessment tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task: Work Placement Manual

Reflect and explore your own values and beliefs around AOD use and how this may impact on your ability to work effectively within the AOD sector.

1.Provide and comment on the Mission Statement from an agency where you have undertaken placement. Your answer must include an explanation of how this mission statement translates into practice and how it aligns with your own personal values and beliefs.
2.How did you develop and maintain an effective work practice including an explanation and understanding of:
•Team building
•Conflict management
•Time management and prioritising

Length: 500 – 800 words
Due Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Assessment 1
Facilitator: Fabrizio Lo Cascio

Task 1:

Provide a definition for the following Terms. Then respond to the question provided.

Drug Dependence:

Drug Tolerance:



Why do we apply Harm minimization strategies when working with AOD clients?

Task 2:

Find a Drug and alcohol service in your area. Provide me with the following:

•Name of the service:

•Contact Details for that service (include web site if possible):

•Type of Drug and Alcohol services it provides:

•Number of Staff employed in the service and their professional backgrounds.

•Describe the referral process

•Attach a copy of Agency brochure the service provides to their clients.

Task 3:

Choose any one of the following classifications of drugs and provide me with the physiological and mental health effects on the clients who use them.
Underline the classification you have chosen and list three commonly used substances that fit into that classification.


Three commonly used Substances:


Mental health

Assessment 2 (40%)

Facilitator: Fabrizio Lo CascioDate:

The following Multi-choice Questionnaire and short answer with Practical Examples is the second of two assessment task which will be utilised to assess this unit. It is worth 40% of the overall mark. You have 60 minutes to complete this assessment task. When completed please hand back complete questionnaire to the person supervising the assessment. Please ensure that you have written your name and student number in the space provided above.

Please read each question carefully and circle the answer you believe is the correct answer. If you circle an incorrect answer and wish to change your answer put an x through the incorrect answer and circle the answer you believe to be correct.

Q.1 Which drug, first introduced in the 1930’s was used for nasal congestion


Q. 2 Why is it important to be aware of your experiences beliefs and values when working with clients with AOD issues?

A.So you can help people with AOD issues to have more positive beliefs like yours.
B.It’s important to know what your own beliefs are so you can stop people with wacky beliefs influencing you in negative ways.
C.It is important to be aware of your own values and beliefs as these will impact on how you perceive, work and interact with the AOD client, and how that person interacts and relates to you.
D.The beliefs held by many AOD clients is part of the reason they are taking drugs, it is your job to change these unhelpful beliefs.

Practical Example: Give an example of how an AOD worker’s beliefs may influence how they interact with their clients.

Q. 3 Why do people take drugs?

A.Because they have no self control and are morally weak.
B.Because they have a chemical imbalance in their brain.
C.To get back at their parents who have been too strict
D.To control stress; for pleasure; to help them relax; as a response to peer pressure and to feel part of a group.

Q. 4 Substance Abuse is?

A.A maladaptive over the top drug use; Rebellious drug use; Harmful drug use.
B.Circumstantial or Situational drug use that is intensive and dependant
C.When Physical addiction occurs from prolonged drug use.
D.A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment and distress.

Practical Example : Give an example that demonstrates the difference between drug use and drug Abuse:

Q. 5 Roizen states that there are four areas where a person can experience harm when using substances. His model is referred to as Roizen’s ‘4 Ls’. Which of the following is Roizen’s ‘4Ls’?

A.Lover; Lifespan; Littering; Last use.
B.Legal; Lover; Liver; Lifestyle
C.Liver; Lust for drugs; Length of drug use; Lover
D.Lover; Legal; Lust; Lifestyle

Q. 6 The Harm Minimisation policy/model incorporates a three tiered approach. Which of the following are the three tiers referred to?

A.Supply Reduction; Demand increase; Border control.
B.Demand Reduction; Supply increase; Government policy
C.Harm Reduction; Supply reduction; Demand reduction
D.Harm Minimisation, Supply Reduction, Demand Reduction

Practical Example : Give an example of one commonly used Harm Minimisation strategy used by AOD workers:

Q. 7 In the Cycle of change what is commonly regarded as the first stage?

A.Preparation / determination stage

Practical Example : Give an example that demonstrates that a client is in the first stage about their drug use:

Q. 8 When somebody is in the stage of contemplation they are said to be

A.Putting change into place.
B.Thinking about change.
C.Preparing a plan for change
D.Considering their future

Q. 9 The public AOD Treatment Services is made up of how many parts


Practical Example : If a drug user is an intravenous drug user; list the parts of the AOD service system which might be used to assist this type of drug user:

Q. 10 In the AOD sector when we refer to the 4 C’s we mean

A.Counting; Congestion; Courage; Currency
B.Counselling; Compassion; Countertransference; compulsion
C.Consultancy; Counselling; Continuing Care

Q.11 Psychoactive substances fall into four main categories. They are

A.Good, Bad, Ugly and Harmful drugs
B.Body, Mind, Spirit and Soul altering drugs
C.Depressants, Stimulants, Hallucinogens and Inhalants
D.Mind altering; Physical addictive; Psychologically habituated and Intravenous.

Practical example : List two drugs which are examples of each of the three categories identified above (a total of eight substances):

Q. 12 The effects of any drug use is dependant on

A.Body shape and gender
B.The quantity taken/how it is taken; tolerance level; persons mood; strength and purity of the substance taken
C.Ethnicity; geographical location; Nutritional status.
D.How much you paid for the drug; Peer influences; Purpose of the drug being used

Practical Example 7: Give an example of how somebody’s mental health can impact on their drug use:

Q.13 Give an example of how someone may consume substance within safer limits:

Q.14 At what point may a client be referred to Residential Rehabilitation?

Q.15 What drug when used in higher quantities can be both a depressant and a hallucinogen

A. Speed
D.Magic Mushrooms

Q.16 What is Health Promotion?

Q.17 The most important element in basic counselling skills is:

A.To establish rapport
B.Knowing all about drugs and their effects
C.Taking notes
D.Taking control of the session

Q.18 Home based withdrawal is for those people who:

A.Are too ill for residential treatment
B.Wish to detox in their own environment
C.Are homeless
D.Have no family support

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview