What an AOD Support Worker does and how to become one
Drug and Alcohol Counselling is a relatively small field in Australia with around 1,600 specialists – but the need is far greater than employment figures might suggest.
That could be because the available statistics miss a significant number of Support Workers, bundling Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Support Workers into similar fields with Community Workers and Welfare Support Workers.
While these roles aim at similar fundamental outcomes, among them an improved quality of life, personal support, program development and early intervention, AOD Support Work is an erudite vocation focussed on the damage done by substance abuse.
That’s why our Certificate IV and Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs courses teach specialised skills on top of a solid welfare-focussed foundation. The result is well-rounded AOD Support Workers making significant and sustained improvement to the lives of the people they work with.
Balancing book smarts with boots-on-the-ground
AOD Support Workers perform a wide variety of tasks. There is almost no such thing as a “day in the life” because every day is so different. The variety is normally driven by the needs of their clients; AOD Support Workers access, advocate for, create and implement services based on the individual.
- Community outreach
- Drop-in centre work
- Mental health support
- Counselling and rehabilitation services
- Advocacy (to governments and funding bodies)
- One-on-one healthcare
- Helping people to access services
- Youth and Youth Justice work
- Early intervention and harm reduction
What it takes to become an AOD Support Worker
This problem-solving mindset is a core tenet of successful Support Workers, in AOD and every field. Learning to identify, manage and prevent social (and personal) issues is the basis of impactful support. Good AOD Support Workers are people who:
- Are open-minded, empathetic and non-judgemental
- Enjoy building long-term relationships
- Want to share advice gained from lived experience
- Believe in healthy life choices and can help others reach personal milestones
But before you can put your natural empathy to use, you need to learn the technical and contextual skills that enable effective Support Workers to match their clients’ needs with the right services.
What you’ll learn in a Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs
Building on what you can learn in a Certificate IV of Alcohol and Other Drugs, the Diploma course provides the practical skills and knowledge to help people break the cycle of dependency.
- Providing rehabilitation services
- Promoting health and wellbeing
- Communication and problem-solving skills
- Needs assessment
- Program development and coordination
Think you have what it takes to become an AOD Support Worker and improve others’ quality of life? Apply online to study with TrainSmart Australia or learn more about what the Diploma of AOD involves and what you can expect to learn.