Up in smoke: Cannabis content in alcohol and other drug qualifications

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    Aims: Cannabis is the most common illicit drug in Australia and internationally, with correspondingly high rates of presentation within treatment settings. It is imperative that the alcohol and other drug (AOD) workforce has the skills to deal with cannabis-related issues. This study examined the extent and quality of cannabis training in AOD qualifications within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. Methods: A national survey of Registered Training Organisation (RTO) managers/trainers (N=49, response rate 86%) involved in the delivery of AOD qualifications. Open-ended and categorical questions assessed views on cannabis training. Descriptive and qualitative analyses were undertaken. Findings: Although most respondents (96%) considered it important for students to learn about cannabis, it was largely absent from training. Implementation was at the discretion of individual trainers and varied widely between institutions. While student interest in cannabis was perceived to be relatively low, most trainers (62%) supported more content on cannabis. Conclusions: Scope exists to substantially enhance cannabis training, as there is currently significant variation in the extent to which cannabis is addressed within AOD qualifications. More cannabis training resources, professional development and an RTO network are recommended to facilitate this goal.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)140-146
    Number of pages7
    JournalDrugs-Education Prevention and Policy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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