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Certificate of Alcohol and Drugs Support


Course Outline and Topics

Course Overview

The Certificate of Alcohol and Drugs Support is an online professional development program that will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to work effectively in the challenging drugs and alcohol support sector. In this online drugs and alcohol support course, you will learn how to work with clients who have alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues.

You will discover the social, political and economic contexts with respect to individual differences, such as age, gender and culture. You will gain an understanding of drug and alcohol dependency and discover a range of models of treatment. You will also learn how to manage critical incidents and crises, and how to work with clients to ensure you work within ethical guidelines, duty of care and privacy principles.

On completion of this course you will feel confident to use the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt to gain employment within a rehabilitation clinic, community organisation or outreach programs as a volunteer or support worker.

Course Structure

Unit 1 - Work in an alcohol and other drugs context

  • Historical contexts
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
  • Cultural patterns of alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Social, political and economic contexts
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Gender differences
  • Age differences
  • National drug strategies
  • Economic costs of misuse
  • Types of drugs
  • Drug and alcohol dependency
  • Models of treatment
  • Critical incidents
  • Crisis situations
  • Managing clients
  • Daily living assistance
  • Residential support
  • Day programs
  • Mandatory reporting
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Medical / public health models
  • Cognitive Behavioural Treatment
  • Bio-Psycho-Social Model
  • AOD practice values
  • Harm minimisation
  • Vulnerabilities and risk areas
  • Access and equity
  • Values in AOD practices
  • Health promotion
  • Communication skills
  • Sharing information
  • Effective work practices
  • Law and ethics

Unit 2 - Work with clients who are intoxicated

  • Intoxicated client services
  • Assessing intoxication
  • Statutory requirements
  • Health and safety
  • Signs and symptoms
  • First aid
  • Alcohol and the brain
  • Injuries
  • Safe environments
  • Document services provided
  • Privacy
  • Reduce harm and injury
  • Calm and confident approach
  • Risk management
  • Safety measures
  • Infection control guidelines
  • Seeking emergency assistance
  • Long term needs
  • Assisted daily living
  • Service needs
  • AOD client information
  • Family support networks
  • Signs of relapse

Unit 3 - Assess needs of clients with alcohol and other drugs issues

  • Assessing clients’ needs
  • Review client records
  • Confidentiality
  • Purpose of assessment
  • Assessment flow chart
  • Drug assessment
  • AUDIT assessment
  • Conducting assessment
  • History and pattern of drug use
  • Co-existing issues
  • Co-morbid disorders
  • Psychological illness
  • Self-harm
  • Client contract
  • Familial and social relationships
  • Assess current status
  • Substance abuse
  • Alcohol dependence
  • AOD assessment tools
  • Symptoms of specific drug use
  • Interview questions
  • AOD consequences
  • Detoxification units
  • Homeless youth services
  • Client referral needs
  • Identify client issues
  • Referral protocols and procedures

Unit 4 - Develop strategies for alcohol and other drugs relapse prevention and management

  • Relapse prevention strategies
  • Personal factors
  • Individual treatment plan
  • Drug and alcohol terminology
  • Coping mechanisms
  • Signs of relapse/triggers
  • Stimulus-control techniques
  • Intoxication / alcohol
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Stimulants and amphetamine psychosis
  • Self-harm
  • Impaired decision-making
  • Client risk assessment
  • Enhancing self-efficacy
  • Support strategies
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Lifestyle strategies
  • Urge-management techniques
  • Relapse management plan
  • Harm minimisation
  • Contingency plan
  • Permission thoughts
  • Self-help groups
  • Stress management strategies
  • Coping with cravings
  • Client skills and strengths
  • Client interventions
  • Counselling and support
  • Law and ethics

Unit 5 - Provide interventions for people with alcohol and other drugs issues

  • Preparing for intervention
  • Intervention requirements
  • Individual treatment plans (ITP)
  • Signs of abuse and addiction
  • Required resources
  • Client emotional well-being
  • Identify client’s strengths
  • Psychological interventions
  • Planning an intervention
  • Self-help groups
  • Twelve step programs
  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Therapy
  • Early intervention
  • Crisis intervention
  • Support networks
  • Confirm intervention with client
  • Intervention features
  • Guide and support client
  • Drug / alcohol withdrawal
  • Negotiation
  • Manage issues
  • Compliance
  • Referrals or emergency assistance
  • Self-harm
  • Client progress reports
  • AOD terminology
  • Implement interventions
  • Client referrals


Written assignments and exercises, including short-answer questions, reports/essays and projects. There are no examinations or due dates for assessment.


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Payment Information

Certificate Course



  • Recognised by employers as professional development;
  • Improve your employment opportunities;
  • Study online, anywhere via our elearning system;
  • Access to high-quality courses written by industry experts;
  • All course materials provided online – no textbooks to buy;
  • Unlimited tutor support;
  • Easy to understand course content;
  • Unlimited enrolment with no expiry;
  • Certificate of Attainment issued for your CV (hard copy provided); and
  • Course may be tax deductible; see your tax advisor.

Career Pathways

Future growth




  • Counsellor – Alcohol & Drugs
  • Drug and Alcohol nurse
  • Support Worker
  • Best value option
  • Includes unlimited access


  • $180 deposit
  • $35/week
  • No credit checks required