Drug and Alcohol Counsellor

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Job Summary

Drug and Alcohol Counsellors provide assessment, education, treatment and referral to individuals and families experiencing problematic or harmful substance use. Tasks range from providing education, particularly targeting high-risk populations, through to providing emergency response to individuals at risk. Duties may include:

  • Assessing client's needs for treatment in relation to drug and alcohol dependency
  • Counselling and providing support to clients and family members
  • Assisting clients to understand the nature of dependency and develop rehabilitation plans, including strategies to achieve behavioural change as well as the attainment of social, education and employment goals

Personal Qualities

Drug and Alcohol Counsellors must have an interest and concern for human wellbeing and require excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills, empathy, discretion and tact in order to establish rapport and effective working relationships with clients. They should be mature and responsible, understand confidentiality requirements, have strong analytical and problem solving skills, and the ability to deal with conflict and stressful situations

Entrance Requirements

Drug and Alcohol Counsellors require a VET qualification or completion of a degree in areas such as Social Work, Psychology, Nursing and other Allied Health Sciences, as well as relevant professional registration. In addition, Certificate IV in AOD (alcohol and other drug) or postgraduate study specialising in the area of Drugs and Alcohol may also be required.

Graduates with a diploma or degree qualification who are members of the Australian Counselling Association(ACA) can become members of the ACA's Alcohol and Other Drugs Professional College by completing an accredited course in Alcohol & Other Drugs and meeting other criteria of the ACA.


Principal Employment Sectors and Industry

Drug and Alcohol Counsellors can work in a range of settings such as clinics, community organisations, and correctional facilities.