CASSA’s Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) services aim to reduce the adverse consequences of drug use and drug use related issues for individuals and the community. Our services are modelled and guided by harm minimisation principles and values. We value individual’s cultural backgrounds and aim to provide culturally sensitive services that respect clients’ rights to self determination.
Who are we?
The AOD team comprises a dedicated group of staff who, collectively, have worked in the field for several years. All of our workers value the philosophies underpinning personal choice and have a non-judgemental attitude to AOD users and their families. We take our responsibilities under CASSA’s confidentiality policies extremely seriously. The organisation values the professional development of its workers and as a result staff are highly trained to work effectively with people affected by AOD and related issues. Our team is here to support community members achieve optimum outcomes for themselves and their families.
CASSA’s AOD team provides a range of services that aim to reduce the harms associated with the use of drugs for individuals, families and communities. All of our services are funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Health and Ageing and the South Australian Government through SA Health.
The AOD team provides the following services:
- Drug treatment support and counselling for Asian drug users from 13 years of age and their families
- Community Education on AOD and mental health problems to members of the Asian and African communities
- Police Drug Diversion Program, providing AOD assessment and counselling (if required) to Vietnamese and Chinese clients from 10 years of age
- Clean Needle Program (CNP) providing clean injecting equipment, information and referral to people who inject drugs.
1. Drugs Treatment Support and Counselling Services
CASSA receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing under the Non Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program to develop drug treatment services for Vietnamese people in South Australia. The services provides support and counselling to drug users and their families to ensure clients can access services that assist with treatment. The services also implement a range of preventative strategies to support clients from non-English speaking backgrounds deal with substance misuse.
The Drug Treatment Support and Counselling Services understands the complexity of addressing issues related to substance misuse and seek to provide high quality services that respond to clients’ needs. We do this by ensuring that:
- Our services are available for free to individuals and families affected by substance misuse and related issues, such as communicable diseases, family, legal, police, and health/mental health.
- Drug treatment workers provide a non-judgemental and culturally sensitive service to clients and/or their families.
- Access to these services is voluntary. In order to ensure the success of treatment, services are only offered to clients wishing to access them on a voluntary basis.
- Confidentiality policies and processes are strictly followed. We understand the importance of client confidentiality and have a strong commitment to maintaining their privacy.
- We take pride in delivering the best quality service to clients and we do this by respecting their individual right to self-determination and believe in their capacity to decide what is best for them
The treatment services aim to:
- Reduce the barriers that prevent drug users from accessing treatment services
- Support drug users and their families to navigate the drug treatment sector to ensure increased access to services
- Increase client’s ability to be successful in their treatment by providing support from the pre-treatment stage through to post-treatment assistance
- Provide integrative interventions to address both substance misuse and mental health problems
Who is the Drug Treatment Support and Counselling Services for?
The treatment services are available to:
- Asian youths 13 – 17 years of age and adults who have drug misuse and/or related issues, and
- Families of individuals from Asian backgrounds who have substance misuse issues.
- Services to individuals with substance misuse and related issues
The following services are available to individuals from Asian backgrounds from the age of 13 affected by the use of drugs:
- One on one support
- One on one AOD counselling
- Monthly support groups.
A/ One on one support
We provide a number of services to ensure clients are supported to deal with their concerns, including:
- AOD assessment, development of personal plans to suit individual needs and goal based interventions
- Providing information and education about alcohol and other drug treatment options
- Providing information and education about alcohol and other drugs, mental health and related risks and harms, legal issues, accommodation and services available in the local area
- Linking clients to support groups and other recreational activities
- Supporting individuals to access clinical treatment programs of their choice through the treatment journey
- Supporting individuals to improve relationships with their families
- Supporting individuals to access other services such as mental health, accommodation and/or legal services.
B/ One on one AOD counselling
Our counselling services are:
- Available for free to people with alcohol and other drug issues
- Available on a weekly basis or as part of a negotiated schedule
- Provided for up to 12 sessions
- Modelled on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy principles
C/ Monthly support groups
We understand the sensitivity of providing support groups to individuals affected by drug issues. Our support groups are:
- Facilitated by a senior AOD worker and a peer educator
- Based on cultural and language needs. We have a Vietnamese speaking group and an English language group
- Facilitated in a way that encourages a mutually supportive environment for participants
- Facilitated in a way that ensures the provision of information and education to users about AOD and related issues
- Facilitated in a way that encourages participants to share their personal life experiences, receive feedback from their peers and learn from their experience
- Facilitated in a way that motivates participants to make changes that improve their health and well- being.
- Families of individuals affected by AOD related issues
- Services available to families of individuals from Asian backgrounds affected by alcohol and other drug use including:
- One on one support to families
Support group for parents and/or partners of people who have alcohol and other drug use issues
A/ One on one support to families
We provide a range of services aimed at supporting the families of people who have alcohol and other drug use issues, including:
- Assessment of the family member’s situation and assistance in developing a personal plan to meet their needs. We use goal based approaches to develop intervention strategies that support the client.
- Providing information and education that supports the reduction of harm associated with drug use
- Providing information and education about drug treatment options
- Supporting family members to recognise and build on skills that improve relationships with their love ones
- Referral and support for family members to access appropriate services in their local area
- Supporting families to go through the treatment journey together with users.
B/ Support group for parents and/or partners of people affected by alcohol or other drug use
We understand the sensitivity of providing support groups to individuals affected by the drug use of their loved ones. Our support groups:
- Are confidential and all information shared remains within the group
- Provide a mutually supportive environment for all participants
- Operate on a monthly basis
- Provide information and education about AOD and related issues
- Aim to identify the skills and attitudes that support people who use alcohol and other drugs to go through their treatment journey
- Aim to provide knowledge and skills to assist participants cope with family issues.
2. Community Education
CASSA’s AOD team understands that in order to support drug users and their families to deal effectively with the effects of drug use, community values and attitudes must be challenged to reduce stigma and improve access to services.
Community education approaches aim to contribute to the evolution of community attitudes by implementing a range of community education strategies that reduce stigma, increase understanding and assist in building an environment that encourages access to support services. Additionally, community education strategies also aim to prevent substance misuse among young people.
Community Education strategies include:
- Programs aimed at parents with children under the age of 18
- AOD workshops for young people
- Providing outreach information and support at high schools
- An annual youth camp
A/ Programs aimed at parents with children under the age of 18
The AOD team provides a range of programs that aim to increase parents’ understanding of issues related to AOD use. Our programs can be:
- Delivered to parents from Asian and African backgrounds
- Organised in conjunction with local schools or with other community services organisations
- Planned according to the requirements and needs of participants.. For example, we can provide parents with knowledge on youth issues, AOD use and related issues, and assist parents to recognise skills and abilities that can support their parenting in relation to AOD issues.
B/ AOD workshops for young people
We provide a range of community education sessions to increase young people’s understanding of AOD use. These sessions include:
- Workshops for young people from non-English speaking backgrounds
- Workshops to raise awareness on the harmful effects of AOD use and how these can impact on individuals and/or families
- Information and education on the effects of AOD use, such as the impact on mental health, relationships and the legal area.
C/ Providing outreach information and support at high schools
CASSA has a team of youth workers who work collaboratively with workers from the AOD team to provide outreach to different high schools. The aim of outreach is to:
- Target Secondary schools with a high population of students from non-English speaking backgrounds
- Ensure accurate, up to date and relevant information is accessible to young people in a safe and friendly environment
- Raise awareness amongst young people so they can access early intervention if required.
D/ Annual youth camp
The youth camp is an annual event aimed at creating an opportunity for young people from non-English speaking backgrounds to create and build social connections. The camp incurs a minimal cost for participants to attend and provides:
- An opportunity for young people to participate in fun activities and build social connections
- An opportunity for workers to engage with young people and provide accurate information about AOD use and its impacts
- An opportunity for young people to be involved in discussions about their experiences of AOD use.
3. Police Drug Diversion Initiative Program
CASSA receives funding from the Government of South Australia through the Department of Health under the Police Drug Diversion Initiative program. The program provides assessment and counselling to individuals of Vietnamese and Chinese backgrounds from 10 years of age, who are referred to our services through the Police Drug Diversion Line for committing a minor drug related offences.
Aim of the Police Drug Diversion Initiative program
The service aims to:
- Enable individuals to talk about their drug use and the impact of this on their health, lifestyle and relationships
- Empower the individual to set goals and make informed choices relating to their drug use
- Create opportunities for the person to access AOD treatment support and counselling services if desired.
Police Drug Diversion Initiative services
The Police Drug Diversion Initiative program provides one on one support, through the following services:
- AOD assessment and screening for mental health issues
- Brief intervention strategies to address immediate issues of AOD
- Referral to related support agencies and/or programs
- Counselling for up to 6 sessions over a 6 month period to clients who wish to address their AOD and/or related issues.
4. Clean Needle Program (CNP)
Overview of the Service
CASSA’s Clean Needle Program (CNP) is supported by the 2010-2015 National Drug Strategy that aims to reduce the harms associated with intravenous drug use. CASSA strongly believes this strategy is best suited to meet the needs of people from non-English speaking backgrounds who inject drugs.
The CNP is part of a range of public health measures aimed at reducing the spread of blood borne viral infections like HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C amongst people who inject drugs and the wider community. The program has been highly successful in reducing harms associated with intravenous drug use.
CASSA’s CNP service was established in 2000 and since then has aimed at ensuring that people from non-English speaking communities have equal access to services that reduce the harms associated with injecting drug use.
CNP services assist in the reduction of harms by:
- Ensuring that people who inject drugs have access to free sterile injecting equipment such as needles and syringes
- Providing access to disposal containers for used needles and syringes
- Using Peer Educators as a means of engaging people who inject drugs to provide them with accurate information and education about safer injecting and disposal options, blood borne virus prevention, and referral to a range of health, social and other relevant services.
Who are we?
The CNP service is staffed by a committed team of peer educators under the guidance of a Coordinator. All workers are passionate about educating and supporting people using intravenous drugs to reduce harms from their use. Peer education involves the provision of education and information, in both formal and informal ways, by people with personal knowledge and exposure to injecting drug use, while not necessarily engaging in injecting drug use themselves. Peer Educators’ own personal experience directs their work, ensuring a sensibility to client issues and concerns.
All CNP staff are dedicated individuals who want to make a difference to the community and assist in reducing the stigma associated with AOD use. They do this by raising awareness amongst the community and ensuring that the voices of people who use intravenous drugs are heard.
CNP operating hours
The CNP provides the following services:
- A fixed site service, where clients can drop by and pick up or drop off injecting equipment. This site is located at 62 Athol Street, Athol Park and has two operating times:
- Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
- After hours service on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm
- A mobile van that services the Western and Northern suburbs of Adelaide every Monday between 4pm and 8pm.
What can clients expect when visiting the CNP service?
Clients visiting the CNP service can expect to be attended to by a Peer Educator; if a Peer Educator is not available a member of the staff will attend to the clients concerns. Clients can expect to:
- Have access to a friendly, non-judgemental and confidential service
- Have access to free sterile injecting equipment, this includes a variety of needles and syringes, alcohol swabs and disposal containers and facilities
- Have access to other injecting equipment like water, spoons and filters available at a small cost (only at the fixed site)
- Have access to information and education on AOD issues through informal chats with peer educators and/or written resources
- Be offered referral services to access other appropriate agencies in the sector, including physical/mental health, legal or housing services
For further enquiries about any of the AOD services, please contact Community Access and Services SA
Alcohol and Other Drugs group