COUN5901 Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselling

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

COUN5901 Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselling

Level: Higher

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: Counselling Skills 2


Unit description

This unit introduces a framework for counselling in the areas of substance use, abuse and dependency. It provides:

  • an overview of the theories and concepts of counselling in the area of substance use, abuse and dependency
  • knowledge of the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) National Drug Strategy Complementary Plan, and sociological aspects of drug/substance use, abuse and dependency such as social exclusion
  • identification of the physiological and psychological aspects of drug use, abuse and dependency and health promotion principles for working in this complex area
  • an outline and comparison of major approaches to the treatment of substance use, abuse and dependency and their evidence base
  • principles for working with voluntary and non voluntary clients
  • knowledge of best practice interventions for working with families affected by substance use, abuse and dependency
  • guidelines for working with clients with dual diagnoses, for example a mental illness combined with substance abuse
  • understanding of the specific impacts of alcohol and other drugs on Indigenous and culturally linguistically and diverse (CALD) communities
  • boundaries and self care for counsellors working with substance use, abuse and dependency

Throughout this unit students are expected to reflect on their personal values and their attitudes towards substance use and dependency, as both affect your counselling practice.

Learning outcomes

By completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • use the terminology appropriately and understand and apply the concepts of substance use, abuse and dependency to case studies
  • explain the interactions between individual drug use and the social context
  • develop specific assessment and referral skills for working effectively with clients who present with substance use, abuse and dependency issues
  • identify the major treatment options available in the field and their evidence base
  • match treatment options to individual needs
  • analyse the impact on families of substance use, abuse and dependency
  • identify special needs groups and clients, including ATSI and CALD communities and develop evidence based interventions to meet their needs
  • discuss current practice issues for substance use, abuse and dependency counsellors
  • develop strategies for relapse prevention

Unit content

  • Overview of theories and concepts of substance abuse counselling
  • Policy frameworks in alcohol and other drugs
  • Physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of drug use, abuse and dependency
  • Assessment of substance abuse
  • Treatment options and services in the alcohol and other drugs field
  • Comparison of major approaches to substance abuse counselling
  • Re-examination of the comparison of major approaches to substance abuse counselling and their evidence base from a practice perspective
  • Best practice with families
  • Working with ATSI and CALD clients and communities to reduce substance abuse, harm and impact
  • Counselling clients with co-occurring conditions
  • Strategies for relapse prevention and their evidence base
  • Boundaries, ethical principles and self-care for alcohol and other drugs counsellors

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary - On Campus Students

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Integrative statement and design of treatment options for three clients (Activity 5.2)

20%

Integrative Statement (500 words) and design of treatment options for three clients (150 words each)

5

Evaluation of three published research studies on a topic covered in this unit

30%

 

 1500 words

8

Case study

50%

2500 words

11

Assignment summary - Blended and Online Delivery (BOLD) Delivery students

Type

Weighting

Word count

Week

Discussion Forum postings (one of which must be a posting on Activity 5.2) and an Integrative Statement

20%

 

Integrative Statement (500 words) plus your three best Discussion Forum postings

6

Evaluation of three contemporary published research studies on a topic relevant to the Alcohol and Other Drugs field

30%

1500 words

8

Case study

50%

2500 words

11

Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquistions techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Stevens, P., & Smith, R. L. (2012). Substance abuse counseling: Theory and practice (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Higher Education.

A secondary textbook (online resource) is by Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Publications (2004). Alcohol and other drugs: A handbook for health practitioners. Retrieved fromhttp://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/69D6F4B21116BB7BCA25751300087111/$File/aodgp.pdf

You are also expected to read the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. (2011, February 25). National drug strategy 2010-2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au/internet/drugstrategy/publishing.nsf/Content/DB4076D49F13309FCA257854007BAF30/$File/nds2015.pdf

Relevant journals

Addiction
American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
American Journal of Public Health
Behavioral Sciences and the Law
Drug and Alcohol Review
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Genetic, Social and General Psychology Monographs
Journal of Addictions and Offender Counselling
Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education
Journal of Drug Issues
Journal of Social Work
Neurological Sciences
Psychology Today
Psychopharmacology
Substance Use and Misuse

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer tohttp://currentstudents.acap.edu.au/assets/Managing-My-Course/A-Z-Policies/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.

Disclaimer

This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.