Up in Smoke: Cannabis Content in Alcohol and other Drug Qualifications

July 2014
Roche, A., Adams, V., & White, M. (2014). Up in smoke:cannabis content in alcohol and other drug qualifications. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 21(2), 140-146.

A central issue of concern for the alcohol and other drug workforce is the high prevalence of cannabis use. Cannabis has an increasingly high rate of presentation within treatment settings either as the primary drug of concern or as part of the clinical profile of many alcohol and other drug clients.  It is imperative that specialist AOD workers are equipped with the requisite skills to deal with cannabis-related issues, and that all alcohol and other drug qualifications include comprehensive cannabis content and clinical skill development. However, the extent to which this occurs is currently unknown. Accurate information on the availability, delivery and quality of cannabis training is essential to plan for the professional development needs of the AOD workforce. 

As a large proportion of Australian alcohol and other drug workers obtain qualifications through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, this study sought to explore how much cannabis content was included in the Community Services Training Package (CHC08) and formulate recommendations for the improvement of VET sector cannabis training. A secondary aim was to canvass interest among participants in providing input into the development of cannabis-specific training and resources.