Australia’s National Research Centre on Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce Development
The National Centre for Education and Training on Addictions (NCETA) is growing, and we would like to introduce you to our new staff members Dr Ashlea Bartram, Christina Norris, and Nathan Harrison.
Abstract Introduction The extant Alcohol's Harms to Others (AHTO) literature is largely comprised of reports from victims. We investigated AHTO from perpetrators' perspectives, including how harms were associated with individual characteristics, and alcohol quantities consumed during the perpetration incident. Methods Participants (N = 2932) were 14–19 years old, recruited primarily through social media and screened as risky drinkers. They completed face-to-face (n = 594) or self-administered (n = 2338) surveys. They self-reported whether during their last risky drinking session (LRDS) they had perpetrated any verbal abuse, physical abuse or property damage. A multinomial logistic regression examined whether nine factors were associated with perpetrating zero, one or 2+ categories of AHTO. Results Eleven percent (n = 323) reported perpetrating at least one form of AHTO (7.5% verbal, 1.9% physical and 4.6% property). Perpetration of AHTO at LRDS was uniquely associated with: younger age, male gender, experiences of childhood physical punishment, greater perpetration incident-specific drinking, concurrent illicit drug use, and less frequent use of safety strategies while drinking in the past 12 months. Controlling for the other variables, an increase of six Australian standard drinks (60 g of alcohol) increased the odds of perpetration by 15% [95% confidence interval (CI) adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.08, 1.23], and an increase of 15 Australian standard drinks increased the odds by 42% (95% CI AOR 1.20, 1.69). Discussion and Conclusions Individual characteristics, larger quantities of alcohol consumed, and a disinclination to practice harm reduction amplified risk of AHTO perpetration. This has implications for health promotion and risk prevention/reduction strategies.
The alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector has shown strong progress with regard to recognition, professionalism and international programs of training and credentialing. Yet little is known regarding the professional development (PD) needs of AOD workers, nor how these needs differ across career stages. Australian AOD workers (N = 812) from the government and non-government sectors completed an online survey. Early career workers (≤3 years’ AOD experience) were more likely than mid/late career workers to be non-government employed and earn less than the national average and were less likely to be AOD qualified and have permanent employment. Early career workers were more likely to nominate a need for PD in advanced clinical skills (86.3%, p ≤ .05), dual diagnoses/mental health (72.6%, p ≤ .001) and service delivery/partnerships/teamwork (66.4%, p ≤ .01). These findings highlight an urgent need for advanced skill development to accord with increasing complexity in AOD presentations. High quality care is founded on a skilled and experienced workforce; addressing the ubiquitous PD barriers of time, cost and access is a crucial workforce development priority best addressed through reform to systems of organisational funding, professional accreditation and curriculum development in AOD specialist and generalist health areas.
Objective: To map patterns and prevalence of daily smoking among employed Australians over time. Methods: Data from four waves of the triennial National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016) were used to assess daily smoking. Frequency analyses and significance testing examined smoking prevalence by sex, age, state, remoteness, Indigeneity, socioeconomic status (SES) and psychological distress. Logistic regression models estimated adjusted effects of demographics on smoking prevalence. Results: Workers’ daily smoking prevalence reduced by 32% between 2007 and 2016. The adjusted model showed the lowest smoking reductions among men and non-metropolitan workers. Other interaction effects showed the highest daily smoking rates for: male workers aged 14–39 years; low SES non-metropolitan workers; and low SES workers aged 40–59 years. Conclusions: Specific workplace policies, prevention and intervention strategies are warranted for male workers, especially those aged 14–39; non-metropolitan workers, especially low SES rural workers; and low SES workers especially 40–59-year-olds. Implications for public health: In spite of significant smoking reductions among workers over time, reductions were unevenly distributed. Tailored, innovative workplace prevention and intervention strategies that apply principles of proportionate universalism and address individual, workplace settings and cultural factors are warranted to reduce smoking disparities among male, rural and low SES workers.