Inside Drug and Alcohol Counselling Courses – What to Expect

Inside Drug and Alcohol Counselling Courses – What to Expect


If you are an amazing listener, compassionate, empathetic, and a great problem solver, you just might be considering taking some drug and alcohol counselling courses as a means to obtain a career in the field. If so, you are probably wondering which courses would be involved during the education path you would need to take to obtain a job in drug and alcohol services.

This article aims to focus on this very topic, so read on to learn more about what sort of courses to expect when trying to pursue this meaningful career.

Which Program?

If you wish to become a drug and alcohol counsellor, you might as well get straight to the point as far as your education goes. In other words, there is no sense in pursuing more education than is necessary, unless you have other career aspirations in mind as well.

If you are looking to take drug and alcohol counselling courses in order to get a job in the field, then you should work on obtaining a Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs, or AOD for short.

This diploma typically requires that you get all of your core units, plus 10 or 11 elective units and about 160 hours of vocational placement, leaving you quite prepared for your new career. Keep in mind that the number and breakdown of required units varies according to the college you attend.

Courses to Expect

Now that you have found out which program is ideal for becoming a drug and alcohol counsellor, you should know which courses are typically required as part of this program. Take a look below.


Aside from taking a drugs and alcohol course or two, you can expect to need a couple of health-related courses, such as a first-aid class, as part of an AOD program. However, this should only account for a small portion of your course load.

Community Health

The bulk of your courses will fall under the community health category of classes. You will learn about drug and alcohol services as a whole with these courses.

You will also learn all about basing counselling techniques off of frameworks designed for AOD therapy, creating solid relationships with your patients, being able to work collaboratively with others in your patients’ network, and learning about the specific struggles faced by underrepresented groups.

Final Notes

Many people who decide to choose drug and alcohol counselling as their career end up finding it to be extremely fulfilling and rewarding work. With this in mind, it can also be a painful and stressful job as you can deal with people who have had some very hard circumstances to overcome in life.

Ideally, people who decide to pursue this career should be caring and understanding as well as willing to work with their patients to find solutions to problems that are enormous burdens on their lives. With this end goal, somebody who is in this line of work can make big differences in the lives of others and reduce some of the suffering in the world.

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