What Are Drug and Alcohol Services? How to Get Started

What Are Drug and Alcohol Services? How to Get Started


Dependence on substances like cocaine or opioids (i.e., heroin) is a massive problem in Australia. The number of Australians who consume drugs like heroin went up by 35% from 2017 to 2020.

And the problem isn't exclusive to adults. Many young people have also fallen victim to highly addictive substances. The data from recent studies indicates that 46% of children aged 12-17 have come into contact with alcohol. Since the at-risk group is so young, the need to adequately provide services is highly necessary.

What Are Drug And Alcohol Services?

In a broad sense, these refer to therapy and other support services for those battling addictions from substance abuse.

Based on modern research, addiction can be classified as a disease that severely impairs one's physical and mental health. As a result, treatment services are becoming more comprehensive.

Rehab clinics offer support against addiction through counselling services focusing on improved social functioning. Some programs help patients reduce consumption, while others are focused on completely removing alcohol and other substances from one's life.

What Responsibilities Do These Services Cover?

Since the impact of alcohol problems and drug addiction can be far-reaching, these services cover different areas of concern.


The most commonly known treatment service of this nature is counselling. It revolves around providing emotional support services; advising those recovering from addiction.

Since addiction can further lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, those factors also need to be treated. In the case of alcohol addiction, it's also common to counsel patients through bursts of anger.

Different Kinds Of Counselling

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is well-documented in terms of helping those with addictions. It requires different strategies and practices to reorient thinking patterns. This is further built on through unlearning self-destructive or self-deprecating habits.

Psychotherapy has also found success as a treatment option. This form of therapy doesn't challenge the patient. Instead, it looks at building their self-awareness and is almost gentle in its approach of "re-parenting." Here the counsellor allows them to unpack their past experiences like a parent listening to their child.

Support Groups

These programs are designed to provide a community for those who feel isolated in their situation. This service involves multiple people and allows them to talk freely in a non-judgmental space. Framing recovery as a social situation instead of a clinical one has proven to be an effective recovery route for many people.

These support services can also treat severe withdrawal symptoms or advise concerned family members and friends.

It's highly common for families and friends of addiction patients to find a sense of community with each other. This is why it's encouraged to look for support groups when faced with a loved one's substance abuse.

Detox Treatment

These services are provided by clinics that want to minimise the harm of drugs and alcohol. They help people cut themselves off from the substance. Since addiction can be an inherited disease, prevention isn't always an option for every person. This is why Detoxification is an extremely important way to treat the disease.

Detoxification aims to let the drugs exit a person's system safely. A health professional administers the treatment since withdrawal symptoms can create a medical emergency. The process is heavily monitored to reduce potential danger and goes one step at a time for added ease.

Access to Treatment Clinics

Australia is addressing the broader issue of alcohol and drug abuse by setting up different rehab centres to treat patients.

One can gain access to these centres by either referring themselves or through a referral from a doctor or health care provider.

Which Treatments Are Most Effective Against Addiction?

Addiction can impact someone in a variety of ways. Treatment requires a highly trained mental health professional to be involved.

Since dependence on alcohol and other drugs can completely impair function, various forms of counselling have emerged as effective solutions. While the risk of relapse can't be fully removed, developing appropriate programs can make a huge difference.

Ultimately the goal is to support people's health from every angle. This is to help them adjust to life without dependence on any drug.

The Need for Addiction Specialists

Since its a very specific field, addiction requires certain knowledge to navigate fully. As a result, drug and alcohol services have become an ever-present aspect of treatment. To be able to provide services holistically, one can't look at health or emotional problems alone. Long-lasting and positive results will only come when you consider both factors.

Alcohol And Drug Addiction Look Different

There is a reason that this service is called "Alcohol and Drug" rather than the broader term "addiction". This is because both affect a person differently.

About alcohol, it's common to hear about bursts of anger or very extreme emotions, while with drug addictions, anxiety and paranoia are usually present. This isn't set in stone, nor is every person affected the same way. But the distinction is important since the needs of these addictions are different, and the health concerns that come up will also vary.

So while providing service to those with alcohol addiction, we must keep in mind that the liver is at risk, but for drug users, it could be the lungs, blood contamination from needles, etc. And depending on the situation, the strategies provided will be different. There isn't a single solution to beating addiction; progress comes from staying flexible and attentive to client needs.

What Skillset Is Needed for Alcohol and Drug Services?

Drug service providers are the middle between a doctor (i.e., a general physician) and a therapist.

So the knowledge this job requires is not only training for different kinds of therapy but also health-related information. It is because alcohol and other drug issues can contribute to various problems.

This is why experts in the field are highly trained in diagnosing the nature of different problems. They need to identify if they can resolve the issue or if the severity requires a referral.

Are Qualifications Required?

As mentioned, you need a professional to provide these services. As a result, any person looking to enter this field will require a formal qualification. Not just anyone can decide to get involved; a certain standard has to be met before someone can be taken seriously as a professional.

There's also the fact that those battling substance abuses are in an extremely vulnerable place mentally and emotionally. Specialised training is needed to improve their quality of life, and some measure of expertise needs to be proven.

And this means credentials from an accredited institution that the Australian Government recognises. It can be a huge risk to invest in vague programs regarding this.

It can seem simple to talk about addiction treatment services, but a lot of training and education are needed to minimise complications. This includes learning different kinds of therapy techniques along with education on research and data sets.

Are Any Other Skills Needed?

In addition to proper certification, it's important to build on certain soft skills like:

  • Conflict de-escalation
  • Being patient
  • No short-term thinking
  • Not panicking during an emergency

While some might argue about these pointers being called skills, it's still necessary to incorporate them into your repertoire. To properly address physical and mental health concerns, create a community or found family of sorts with your patients. To get there, you need to make sure you're clear-headed and grounded.

Crisis Management

The pointers above also relate to crisis management since complications and risks are unavoidable when addressing anything involving a drug or intoxicant. This is why there is a whole subset of lessons and training that entirely covers handling these emergencies.

Usually, it involves being able to administer some fairly simple first aid in case of a medical mishap (for example, choking). And, of course, there's also the emotional component which requires a lot of sensitivity training. You should be able to reassure and comfort people even when they are at an extremely low point. This includes drastic situations, for example, if they are considering relapse.

How Can I Get Certified?

You don't need to look too far. We here at the Hader Institute provide courses to train professionals in addiction treatment.

Our Certificate IV and Diploma are officially recognised by the Australian Government, which means you are in a solid position to start your career providing support services. Our curriculum is comprehensive and backed by research.


What Is The Benefit Of The Course?

As a Government Certified course, opting for Hader Institute will be a productive step towards a career in drug and alcohol services. Not only that, but our courses are also designed to provide addiction support services across multiple disciplines.

Who Can I Contact For More Help?

Simply refer to the page on our site for more information on the courses and further contact details. We provide an email and an option to book an appointment for any enquiries.

Can I Learn Fully Online?

The Hader Institute is a 100% online business. Our site will always have a dedicated page to address student concerns. The education we provide is designed with remote learning in mind to support every kind of student.

What Skills Will This Course Teach?

Our program's curriculum covers a broad range of relevant physical and mental health topics. We also address how to identify other drug issues, when to stage an intervention and what kind of treatment would be most effective.

You will receive education on strategies and techniques supported by research and data. As a result, your understanding of drug services and alcohol addictions will be well-rounded and address all areas of concern.

What Are Possible Career Paths?

The education you will receive with us prepares young people to take on roles such as working in Community Support Services. This also includes specialising in addiction-related services like Detoxification work. Or even a role that revolves around emotional support, like an Alcohol and Drugs Worker.

Providing drug treatment or, more broadly, addiction support services is an asset regardless of the kind of social work you do. As many elders and young people currently deal with drug issues or alcohol addiction, this training makes it possible to help.

Overall, our courses will ensure you're well-equipped to offer service in a productive capacity, that is, without limiting career paths.

Study online with us today!

If you're an existing online learner requiring any support, you can also book a time here.

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