alcohol-other-drugs
alcohol-other-drugs

Alcohol and other drug treatment services

Overview

The strategic context for alcohol and other drug treatment services varies from that for mental health and suicide prevention, with its national priorities drawn from the National Drug Strategy 2017-2026. Consultation indicated that cohesive, integrated policy and program approaches are needed from government agencies whose policies impact on people requiring treatment. Chapter eight of Planning for Wellbeing is focused on improving alcohol and other drug treatment services.

Facts and figures

In 2019, 11.0% of people aged 14 and over smoked daily

People living in areas with higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage are more likely to smoke than those living in areas with lower levels of socioeconomic disadvantage.

In the case of lifetime risk, 16.8% of people in 2019 drank more than 2 drinks per day on average

In 2019, 43% of people in Australia had illicitly used a drug at some point in their lifetime , and 16.4% had used one in the last 12 months

People who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual have higher proportions of substance use than people who identify as heterosexual. Daily smoking and drinking at risky levels has been on the decline in these populations, however the proportion indicating recent illicit drug use is more than double that of heterosexual people (36% v.16.1%)

In 2019, people aged 18 and over who had been diagnosed with, or treated for, a mental health condition in the last 12 months, were twice as likely to smoke daily as people without a mental health condition. They were also 1.7 times as likely to have recently used an illicit drug

Key documents

Department of Health, National Drug Strategy (2017-2026)

Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan (2014-19)

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Drug Strategy (2015)

National Ice Action Strategy (2015)

Connecting Care to Recovery (2016-21)

Planning for Wellbeing - Year one implementation report

Objectives and actions

8.1.1

Coordinate planning across Brisbane North to improve referral pathways and facilitate seamless access and transitions across the alcohol and other drug treatment services spectrum of care

Planned completion

Status

Completed

Updated

8.1.2

Deliver an education campaign for GPs on the use of HealthPathways, and Adis - 24/7 Alcohol and Drug Support, in assisting them to support patients experiencing problems related to the use of alcohol and other drugs

Planned completion

2020/2021

Status

On track

8.2.1

Engage with media on use of inappropriate language in media coverage

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

Completed

8.2.2

Build commitment of healthcare organisations and practitioners to delivery of a high standard of care for people using alcohol and other drugs and to addressing the stigma attached to people impacted by problematic use of alcohol and other drugs

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

Completed

8.3.1

Improve the skills base of undergraduate and postgraduate professionals in delivery of alcohol and other drug treatment services, including in mental health issues experienced by people with alcohol and other drug issues, and appropriate use of language

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

On track

8.3.2

Investigate and implement methods that ensure research insights flow into the development of the AOD workforce

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

On track

8.3.3

Revive communities of practice for front-line alcohol and other drug treatment services’ workers

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

On track

8.3.4

Increase investment in professional development that builds capability to respond to complex alcohol and other drug use and mental health issues

Planned completion

2019/2020

Status

On track

8.3.5

Build capability of school staff to recognise and respond to alcohol and other drug issues for students and colleagues

Planned completion

2022/2023

Status

Not started

8.4.1

Use service delivery data to increase understanding of service user needs and improvement of service delivery.

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

On track

8.4.2

Undertake a population survey profiling alcohol and other drug treatment services and assessing demand for services, service accessibility and treatment options responsive to specific population groups

Planned completion

2022/2023

Status

On track

8.4.3

Support family inclusive approaches to delivery of alcohol and other drug treatment services

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

On track

8.4.4

Advocate for inclusion of gender identity and sexuality data in the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set

Planned completion

Status

On track

Updated

8.5.1

Support collaboration and referrals between the community controlled sector and mainstream alcohol and other drug treatment services

Planned completion

2021/2022

Status

On track

8.5.2

Identify current system responses, barriers and gaps for people with alcohol and other drug issues when they are in, or exiting, prison or youth detention

Planned completion

2018/2019

Status

Completed

8.5.3

Work with key government and non-government stakeholders to improve referral of young people and families experiencing problems related to the use of alcohol and other drugs

Planned completion

Ongoing

Status

On track

8.5.4

Improve service responses and support by linking youth and alcohol and other drug treatment services to build capability in providing services to young people experiencing problems related to the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Planned completion

2020/2021

Status

Not started

8.5.5

Provide LGBTIQ inclusion training to mainstream treatment providers and explore opportunities for LGBTIQ peer services

Planned completion

2018/2019

Status

Completed

Governance

The Alcohol and Drug Partnership Advisory Group was originally established to support development of the Alcohol and Other Drug section of Planning for Wellbeing.  Since the launch of Planning for Wellbeing, the Group’s focus has shifted to the provision of guidance and oversight.  The Group is comprised of stakeholders and community members with a vested interest in improving outcomes for people who use alcohol and other drugs in the Brisbane North community.  The Alcohol and Drug Partnership Advisory Group has direct oversight over implementation of Chapter Eight – Alcohol and other Drug Treatment Services within Planning for Wellbeing.

Membership

Gai Lemon

Program Development Officer

Brisbane North PHN

Jacqui de la Rue

Health Team Program Manager

Brisbane Youth Service

Cameron Francis

Principal Consultant/Social Worker

Dovetail

Natalie Scott

Team Leader

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

Paul Vallance

Manager – Clinical Services

Lives Lived Well

Kim Sander

Director of Allied Health

Metro North Hospital and Health Service

Tina Pentland

Lived Experience Representative (Carer)

Peer Participation in Mental Health Services (PPIMS) Network

Gary Malone

Senior Counsellor/Project Officer

Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Corp. Alcohol and Drug Dependence Services

Bruce Collins

Principal Policy Officer

Queensland Government – Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch

Nicola Hayes

Head of Services

Queensland Injectors Health Network

Niki Parry

Client Engagement Officer

Queensland Injectors Health Network / Queensland Injectors Voice for Advocacy

Clare Mason

Principal Project Officer

Queensland Mental Health Commission

Sean Popovich

Treatment Services Support Manager

Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies

Deborah Dowsett

Pre and Post Treatment Care Coordination Worker

Salvation Army Recovery Services, Brisbane

Chris Campbell

Pharmacist

Terry White Management

Achievements

Planning for Wellbeing acknowledges that the strategic setting for alcohol and other drug treatment services is different from the mental health and suicide prevention setting – and is drawn from the National Drug Strategy 2017 – 2026 [1].  These services are guided by a harm minimisation framework.

The shared objectives that have been articulated reflect the work that is required to ensure a region-wide commitment to the Strategy, as well as ensuring that particular at-risk groups are appropriately supported.

A summary of the key achievements against the five shared objectives is included below.

[1] https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/national-drug-strategy-2017-2026

Summary of Achievements

Activities to improve collaboration amongst alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services have largely been driven by the establishment of two separate, but connected, communities of practice – one for practitioners working in AOD services, and a second for supervisors working in the AOD sector.  These communities of practice have supported regular connection within the sector, facilitating increased awareness of service information, and allowing the sharing of practice wisdom.

In addition, specific clinical and service pathways related to AOD interventions, withdrawal services and other AOD support services have been developed in HealthPathways [1] and actively promoted to GPs.

[1] https://brisbanenorth.communityhealthpathways.org

The actions to achieve this objective are focused on promoting best practice related to language and behaviours when supporting people who use drugs and/or alcohol, and working towards the commitment of all healthcare organisations and practitioners to best practice and high standards of care in an attempt to address stigma.

A couple of key activities that have occurred in support of these actions include:

  • The active promotion of Language Matters [1] created and disseminated by the Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies (NADA). This simple but effective resource provides workers with best practice guidelines on how to use language to empower clients and reinforce a person-centred approach
  • Implementation of Putting Together the Puzzle: Stigma Discrimination and Injecting Drug Use With funding from the Queensland Mental Health Commission, the Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) have delivered Statewide training.  The workshop was originally developed by the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League.

[1] https://www.nada.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/language_matters_-_online_-_final.pdf

Work to achieve this objective has been largely informed by a workforce survey to determine the explicit training needs of the AOD workforce.  Key activities have included:

  • Frontline AOD agencies, such as Brisbane Youth Service [1] offering fully supervised university student placements to youth work, social work and psychology students interested in working with vulnerable populations
  • The Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (QNADA) partnered with the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) to develop and deliver the e-learning module on Chemsex [2]
  • QNADA developing and conducting a half-day forum on managing privacy, consent and confidentiality contextualised for specific populations who use alcohol and/or other drugs
  • Both Dovetail [3] and Insight [4] have continued to expand the extensive suite of workshops, e-learning modules, toolkits and resources they have available – particularly targeting the AOD workforce. The resources are freely available.

[1] https://brisyouth.org/student-placements/
[2] https://qnada.org.au/wp-content/uploads/eLearning/Chemsex/story_html5.html
[3] https://www.dovetail.org.au/training/
[4] https://insight.qld.edu.au/

Work to achieve this objective has included reviewing and using routinely collected data from the Alcohol and other Drugs Treatment Services – National Minimum Dataset (AODTS-NMDS) to inform and reshape service responses as required, as well as developing and promoting the AOD Service Finder [1] to support effective matching of service delivery responses to need.

[1] https://qnada.org.au/service-finder/

The actions to achieve this objective are focused on improving access to, and services to, vulnerable populations, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • People exiting prison or youth detention
  • Young people
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse communities>
  • People from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer + (LGBTIQ+) communities.

Insight promotes an extensive list of workshops, guidelines and resources available to support the AOD sector to practice according to best practice principles and in culturally safe and appropriate ways – including:

  • The recent addition of a webinar focused on Trauma Informed Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients [1]
  • The resource Meth Check – Ways to Stay Safe (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander version) [2]
  • Helping Asylum Seeker and Refugee Background People with Problematic Alcohol and Other Drug Use – A guide for community support and AOD workers [3]
  • A webinar on Alcohol and other Drug Treatment within a prison setting for Aboriginal men [4].

A range of other resources are available on the Insight website.

Dovetail is specifically focused on providing clinical advice and professional support to workers, services and communities across Queensland who engage with young people affected by alcohol and other drug use.  A range of resources are available on the Dovetail website.

[1] https://insight.qld.edu.au/training/trauma-informed-care-for-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-clients/detail
[2] https://insight.qld.edu.au/toolkits/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander/detail
[3] https://insight.qld.edu.au/shop/helping-asylum-seeker-and-refugee-background-people-with-problematic-alcohol-and-other-drug-use
[4] https://insight.qld.edu.au/training/alcohol-and-other-drug-treatment-within-a-prison-setting-for-aboriginal-men/detail

Success stories

Get involved

If you would like to know more about Planning for Wellbeing, or if you’re interested in getting involved, please drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you.