Warrnambool district youth service workers have learned how to better support young people with substance use issues during a two-day training program in Warrnambool.
The training gave workers an insight in how to understand why young people turn to substance use and what resources are available to help them to battle addictions.
WRAD presented the youth focused AOD practices training in partnership with Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS).
YSAS senior trainers Melissa Lyon and Geoff Bayldon facilitated the training which was attended by people working in AOD, housing, justice, health, school and family sectors.
The training aimed to improve the capacity of workers to understand why young people use drugs, how they use them and how they can intervene to reduce harms.
Topics included putting drugs in context, responding to young people, change and harm reduction, adolescent development, developmentally sensitive practice, care planning for resilience and an outline of youth AOD service systems.
Ms Lyon said the training helped workers in the field to understand the needs of young people and how their problematic behaviour may be an attempt to manage and respond to unmet needs.
Mt Bayldon said the training aimed to frame substance abuse as one of the many behaviours driven by disadvantage, early life trauma, bad things that happen in their lives.
“People don’t have problematic drug use issues when everything in their life is going well, so if we can understand how to build capacity in the lives of young people and help them with resources,” he said.
The training encouraged a positive worker response and discussed ways to keep communication open.
It also looked at how workers can access AOD support to help young people to deal with their addictions.
WRAD Director Geoff Soma said that external agency training opportunities like this gave staff a chance to network and share information. “The partnership with YSAS is an important one,” he said.