Purpose – Shaw et al. identified the need for alcohol counsellors to have “therapeutic commitment” when working with clients or patients with alcohol problems. Studies building on this work have focussed on how such commitment can be increased. In addition, as helping agencies have increasingly offered support services to people with drug related problems, attention has also been given to staff “therapeutic commitment” when working with both alcohol and drug using populations. This study aims to report on the evaluation of the impact of an alcohol and drugs awareness training programme which was provided for personal advisors (PAs) for young vulnerable people based in a government funded criminal justice project in London. Design/methodology/approach – A three‐day alcohol and drug awareness programme was provided for 38 personal advisors. Participants completed an adapted version of the alcohol and alcohol problems perception questionnaire (AAPPQ) assessment instrument, previously developed by Shaw et al. , immediately before and then again three weeks after the programme ended. This self‐completion instrument is designed to measure the alcohol and drugs knowledge, attitudes and confidence of the PAs in working with service users experiencing alcohol and drug related difficulties. Components of the AAPPQ are specifically designed to assess staff in relation to their role legitimacy, role adequacy, role support, and role satisfaction. In total, 38 participants completed the AAPPQ at Time 1. However, AAPPQ data for the pre‐and post training programme were only obtained for 16. Time 1 and Time 2 responses for these 16 were entered into SPSS and analysed using five‐paired samples t ‐tests. Findings – Participants significantly improved their attitudes to working with, and having confidence in the engagement of young people with alcohol and drug problems. Positive changes were also observed in relation to participants' role legitimacy, role adequacy, role support, and role satisfaction. A positive but non‐significant change in participant motivation was identified. Originality/value – Alcohol and drugs awareness training programmes have a demonstrable and positive impact on the confidence, perceived role, and confidence of personal advisors working with service users with addiction issues.
Drugs and Alcohol Today – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 9, 2012
Keywords: Counselling; Drugs awareness; Personal advisors; Training
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