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The aim of the project is to contribute to the development of a competent workforce of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers who have appropriate illicit drug, community development and cultural skills.

Project Strategies:
To achieve the aim of the project, a resource package about illicit drugs, for Indigenous workers, has been developed. Throughout the various stages of the development of the package, consultations with Indigenous workers and organisations have been held around the country.

The Resource Package:
Presently, The Resource Package includes a number of different things:

Information about illicit drugs. There is a 'Worker's Manual', which is a brief guide about illicit drugs and helping people with illicit drug problems. Plus, there are pamphlets about heroin, cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy and marijuana that give information about the drug, messages for 'keeping safe' when using, and a 'body picture' to map the effects of the drug on the individual. There are also several pamphlets and booklets about illicit drugs included in the package.

An 'Information and Skills Program' designed to enhance knowledge about illicit drugs and skills in helping people with illicit drug problems. This program includes:
Information Units. These Units provide detailed information about the most common illicit drugs (heroin, cannabis, amphetamines and ecstasy) and the models and ideas that are current in the alcohol and drug field (eg harm minimisation). There are also units about helping people with drug problems that cover issues such as building relationships, how to 'raise the issue' of drug use, the 'stages of change' and relapse prevention.

A 'Workbook'. Each Unit has a series of suggested workbook exercised. These can be used by workers to develop their knowledge about illicit drugs and their information resources and networks. The exercises also encourage workers or trainees to find out more about drug-related issues, and to practice skills that go along with helping people with drug problems. Trainers could use these exercises as the basis for their training.

A 'self assessment' tool. This self-assessment can be used by a worker to decide which lessons in the Information and Skills program may be the most relevant for them. trainers could use the self assessment in a similar way with their trainees.

A counselling demonstration video - 'Therapeutic Journeys - Counselling Aboriginal Clients and their Families'. Many of the workbook exercises are based around this video.
The Resource Package could be used in several ways, but we see the main ones being:

As a self-directed 'learning package' for workers who need more information about working with people who have drug-related problems. Workers need the support of their organisation and access to supervision or 'on-the-job' support if they are using the package this way.


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