MHP115 Introduction to Substance Use: Alcohol and Other Drugs (8)

This subject introduces and orientates the student to the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) field. It will examine the historical context and current patterns of AOD use in our society. Various models of dependence including harm minimisation as the dominant philosophy in Australia will be explored. The basic pharmacology of commonly used drugs of dependence will be detailed. The subject will cover the key components of assessment and intervention for states of intoxication, overdose and withdrawal. Finally the primary purpose and evidence supporting current specific AOD treatment interventions will be outlined. Holistic health encompasses spirituality as well as the physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of the individual and community.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: MHP115. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the trends and prevalence of substance use: alcohol and other drug in Australian society including its effects on the financial, social and environmental sustainability;
  • be able to discuss and apply different models of dependence;
  • be able to define the terms harm minimisation and abstinence;
  • be able to explain the key components of substance use: alcohol and other drug assessment;
  • be able to demonstrate substance use: alcohol and other drug that places the client at risk of harm;
  • be able to identify between signs and symptoms of intoxication, overdose and withdrawal, including the ability to perform clinical observations; and
  • be able to describe the general principles of intervention treatment models.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: History of Substance use: alcohol and other drugs;
  • Module 2: Substance use: alcohol and other drugs: An Introduction;
  • Module 3: Substance use: alcohol and other drugs in Australian populations;
  • Module 4: Therapeutic engagement and assessment;
  • Module 5: Principles of assessment and treatment;
  • Module 6: Early and brief treatment options; and
  • Module 7: Orientation to other specific substance use: alcohol and other drug options.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of MHP115 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Health information circular
Aod case notes
Residential school attendance

Residential School

This subject contains a 2.9 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school is compulsory as it forms a significant component of the teaching strategy in this subject. Further details about the residential school will be provided by your Subject Coordinator. Students will attend a total of 20 days at residential schools throughout the year for this subject and other subjects in the course.

Students undertaking subjects within the Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health)  Djirruwang Program may be eligible for federal government funding to attend the compulsory residential schools. This funding is set at 20 days across two academic sessions which meets the requirements for support from Indigenous Student Services.

Special Resources

Students will be required to attend compulsory residential schools throughout the year for this subject and other subjects throughout the course.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.