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The Association of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NT (AADANT) is the peak body representing non-government Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment services in the Northern Territory. As part of our work, we provide sector capacity building activities and support to our members. This includes access to the members portal and discounts on training and events.

Are you looking to enter the AOD workforce in the NT and wondering where to start? We're here to help. 

Getting Started

The Northern Territory is much more than crocodiles, waterfalls and camping. The NT has a total area of 1,349,129 km² which accounts for around 17.5 percent of Australia's total land mass. The Australian Bureau of Statistics lists the NT's population as 228,833. Of this population, 25.5% identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (ABS, 2016).

The non-government AOD sector works with a diverse group of clients, some of whom present with the most complex cases (NCETA, 2019).

Total NT social and economic costs and harms of alcohol consumption equates to $1.38 billion (tangible $701.3mil and intangible $685.5mil costs). Per individual adult, the estimated total social costs of alcohol in 2015/16 were $7,577.94 (excluding costs of alcohol dependence to the dependent drinker and their family).

Very high levels of use, strong cultural AOD norms, and a challenging environment make it especially difficult to address these problems. Additional factors include:

  • Significant economic contributions from supply, purchase and consumption of alcohol
  • High workforce mobility
  • A large proportion of population from an Aboriginal background
  • Communities experiencing poor health, wellbeing, social disadvantage and inequities
  • Disproportionately high levels of harm from alcohol
  • Complex problems compounded by isolated, rural, remote and dispersed communities

There are various roles in the AOD sector which contribute to the ongoing treatment and support of territorians. 

These roles include but are not limited to:

  • Support Workers
  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Youth Workers
  • Drug and Alcohol Nurses
  • Case workers and managers
  • Addiction Specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Peer Workers
  • Volunteers

To explore the opportunties in the NT AOD workforce, visit our careers page.

Required Skills

In order to work safely and confidently in the NT AOD workforce, it is important to have the skills necessary to work with clients who experience harmful AOD use. 

Each person working with AOD clients in any capacity within non-government AOD services needs to hold or be working towards a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs. There are limited providers who are able to deliver this training. We reccomend talking to Charles Darwin University and getting in touch with their staff to start your studies.

If you hold a qualification in Community Services or Mental Health, we reccommend you speak to a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to see if credit transfers can be applied to the Certificate IV in AOD. 

There are many online e-learning and webinar programs available for free that can help you develop AOD skills before entering the workforce. These webinars and e-learning packages may also help you decide if the AOD sector is the right career for you.

Insight Queensland

Understanding Drugs: Alcohol, Cannabis, Opioids, Methamphetamine, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine. Access this free e-learning package here.

AOD Induction Models: 

  • Foundational Alcohol and other Drug Concepts
  • Orientation to the AOD Treatment System (please note this is for Queensland)
  • Screening and Brief Intervention
  • AOD Assessment
  • Relapse Prevention and Management
  • Motivational Interviewing 1 - Spirit and Core Skills
  • Motivational Interviewing 2 - Change Talk
  • Micro-counselling Skills
  • AOD and the Brain

Access these modules for free by clicking here.

AOD Elective Modules:

  • Orientation to Telephone Counselling for Alcohol and other Drug Workers
  • AOD Client Engagement
  • Working with Families and Significant Others
  • Introduction to Trauma Informed Care for Alcohol and other Drugs Practice

Access these modules for free by clicking here.