Drug and alcohol nursing practice | Australian College of Nursing

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Drug and alcohol nursing practice

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Drug and alcohol use impacts on the health and welfare of many Australians, health service delivery and the provision of nursing care across many settings. This unit of study aims to facilitate the development of the required knowledge and skills to enable the nurse to provide contemporary care to clients with drug and alcohol problems. The concepts of health promotion and harm minimisation are explored and provide a basis for the management of clients with drug and alcohol problems.

Drug and Alcohol Nursing Practice

Unit of study code



Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol

PG unit of study





Fee*Tier 1

Prescribed texts: Nil

Co-ordinated by: Ashley Page MACN



Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program

After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks

Type of assessment

Not the completed assessment item. E.g. Assessment 1. Online discussion 


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: History of drug and alcohol use in Australia and

Introduction to drug and alcohol policy

a) Identify the impact of drug and alcohol use on society

Assessment 1 Online discussions x 2



Theme 2: Attitudes and values towards drug and alcohol use

b) Examine society’s view on drug and alcohol use

Assessment 2 Quiz (20 questions)



Theme 3: Why do people use drugs and alcohol?

c) Explain the concept of harm minimisation and health promotion in the drug and alcohol context

Assessment 3: Case analysis (1500 words)




Theme 4: Drugs of dependence

d) Reflect on own values, beliefs and practices related to working with clients with drug and alcohol issues

Assessment 4: Case analysis (2500 words)




Theme 5: Drug and alcohol assessment


e) Discuss the importance of a client centred approach




Theme 6: Management of intoxication, overdose and withdrawal


f) Discuss the components of a comprehensive substance use assessment




Theme 7: Overview of treatment options and special populations

g) Examine the nursing interventions and management strategies for intoxication, overdose and withdrawal





h) Describe the most common psychosocial interventions associated with substance abuse




Units commencing or have commenced in 2017

Tier 1$2,035
Tier 2$2,345
Tier 3$2,725
Tier 4$3,275

Units commencing in 2018

Tier 1$2,100
Tier 2$2,420
Tier 3$2,800
Tier 4$3,375

*Fees are subject to change without notice.