Ensuring the sustainability of a culturally-capable, skilled and well-equipped alcohol and other drug workforce is critical.
Improved coordination, alignment and linkage of existing data sets will enable development of a comprehensive understanding of service gaps and the effectiveness of interventions. This requires cross-sectoral actions broader than Queensland Health state-funded alcohol and other drug services.
The service system needs to develop the workforce required to meet the state’s needs, particularly in regional and remote areas. Workforce planning must consider improved education, job creation, recruitment, job security, retention, career pathways, and the development and maintenance of professional skills.
Efforts to enhance early intervention and treatment support should be prioritised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, young people, families and carers.
The evidence is clear—treatment works.
However, it can be challenging to access treatment because the right type of treatment may not be available at the right place, at the right time. Individuals and families may also fear stigma and discrimination about accessing services. Service accessibility can be improved with statewide referral and triage services via telehealth and online.
People who have experienced trauma are more likely to develop mental illness, problematic alcohol and other drug use and physical health issues. A traumatic experience does not mean a person will develop problems with alcohol and other drugs, but it can increase the risk.
This increased risk is why all workforces engaging with people with problematic alcohol and other drug use should be capable of providing a trauma-informed response.