This unit will introduce students to the social, historical and political contexts of young people and substance use. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to build skills in the assessment and planning of appropriate interventions, advocacy and referral when working with young people who use Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD). An overview of community-based youth specific AOD services will be provided with consideration of evidence based practice models. Students will also explore and analyse drug policy and the impact those policies have on young people in the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) sector.

Unit details

Online Real Time
Online Self Paced
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Contextualise the use of AOD by young people within their social, political and historical settings.  
  2. Examine theoretical models of effective work with young people who are using AOD,  
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and skills to be able to relate to young people with AOD use including methods of effective communication and, workplace protocols and procedures. Make evidence based judgments to assess plan treatments and recommend therapeutic interventions;  
  4. Interrogate methods of Youth Work practice that are appropriate to be used in a range of AOD that are aligned with the Youth Work Professions Code of Ethical Practice and key stakeholder views.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Test (30 mins, 1 attempt, 20 questions) 10%
Case Study Interrogate a case related to a young person. (1500 word limit) 30%
Presentation Group presentation. (10 mins, 10 slides) 20%
Essay Consider a Harm Minimisation model of professional practice 40%

Required reading

Essential Skills for Youth Work Practice 2nd edition
Sapin, K ( 2013)
London: Sage Publications

Texts as suggested by the Lecturer, links will be provided on VU Collaborate

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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