Essay About The Drug And Alcohol Problems in Australia


The purpose of this essay is to research and review the support service that is available for men living with drug and alcohol problems inside Australia. The paper will briefly describe this particular service sector and identify the primary management challenges that this particular sector might face. A number of leadership styles will be outlined and demonstrated as to how each of them are suited to address the challenges that have been identified. Services in his sector cannot function independently without partnerships from other concerned initiatives thus a few partnership options will be analysed in order to provide support in addressing the problems identified. Conclusions will be drawn based on these inferred observations and the importance of innovation will be discussed in the context of this particular industry.

Challenges for the Support Service Sector

The government and Australia and the Australia Mental Health Commission strive to establish systems to tackle Alcohol and other drug problems in the country by meeting the needs of the population and deliver satisfiable outcomes to individuals and family. The aim of the commission is to establish itself as a leader commissioning, providing and partnering with the community in order to deliver prevention, promotion and early intervention programs, and provide treatment. Service, support and research policy and the real-world scenario in order to provide the government with suggestions on how to improve the current system.

The commission was established on 8 March 2010 in order to lead mental health reform and work towards building a modern and effective mental health care system whose central focus would be to provide individuals with the best possible care and guide them on the road to their recovery (Barnett, O'Brien, Hall & Carter, 2020). The vision of the organisation is to decrease and minimise alcohol and drug-related harm in the community and increase the mental health faculty of the community. The commission is responsible for creating programs that promote treatment, services and support to those in need and leads the campaign for promoting research policy and system improvements. The commission was formed to lead the charge against the growing infestation of drugs and alcohol in Australian society.

One of the primary challenges that are faced by this service sector is the lack of a decentralised structure that operates in the different areas that may be too remote for the central organisation to take up the initiative. Creating separate units or clinics in such an area would be a much more efficient course of action as they can provide more personalised care and understand the needs of the community better. The need for decentralisation has been the topic of discussion amongst the legislative bodies for years and so far few initiatives have come to fruition. Currently, the organisation operates as a central governing body that operates out of a few centralised hubs and is unable to focus on the rise and rural areas of the country. Moreover, these are the areas that need more focus and intervention when it comes to drug and alcohol-based problems as they have been known to show the most affected areas by this problem.

Another key issue faced by the commission is the lack of a proper training programme within the organisation that can prepare the recruited staff on what to expect when working in the field. Though at present the organization hires individuals that are trained in handling Alcohol and other drug intervention and treatment a more hands-on training approach, especially within the commission, would lead to more efficiency (Bonevski, et al. 2016)). This is because the organization hires different operators from different vocations within the field. But when working inside the commission these staff members do have to handle different cases which may not align with their particular vocation. Thus the commission is in dire need of a more hands-on training program within the department that will help further the cause. 

Leadership Styles

The Australian Mental Health commission is the country's latest centralised body that handles drug and Alcohol support systems throughout the country. The organisation operates under a centralised command structure where the decision-making powers lie within the commissioner of the department. Thus assigning leadership roles can be complicated as the operations of the commission range from handling countrywide operations for drug and alcohol support and intervention and also handling research in order to incorporate key developments in the field with policy-making structures (Lubman, et al. 2016)). Thus achieving the leadership position in this commission is an occupation of immense responsibility.

In order to address the key issues that have been identified and discussed in the previous section of this essay, two leadership styles will be discussed in this section that will help to mitigate the issues and providing comprehensive solutions to such issues that may present themselves again in the near future. Since the commission is a public sector entity whose main focus is to serve the public in the most efficient manner possible, a more authoritative or autocratic style of leadership will not yield positive results. Two styles that can significantly address the problems mentioned are the democratic and coaching style of leadership.

When considering decentralising an organisation in order to accommodate a more personalised service to the public it is essential that inputs from different sources are considered before making an important decision. Thus a more democratic style of leadership, in this case, is called for to help make more informed decisions when in need. Accepting input from service workers will be crucial when handling decentralisation to more rural areas. Such areas may not have empirical data available regarding the needs and requirements in the area in the context of alcohol and drug-related problems. In such areas, it will be crucial to gather and analyse information from local sources. Thus offering a more democratic form of leadership, in this case, will only help verify and separate authentic sources of such information with the help of local guides. Thus when handling decentralisation a democratic style of leadership is the way to go.

The second issue identified in the previous section is that of a lack of centralized training programs for the service workers who are thought to be trained operators; come from various different backgrounds and may not have the comprehensive knowledge that is needed when it comes to handling alcohol and drug-related problems. Initiating such programs within the organisation and effectively creating a curriculum that serves all these needs will be elaborate and tie consuming process (Ritter, Chalmers & Gomez, 2019). In order to fast track and improvise on this process, a coaching style of leadership should be initiated thus imparting knowledge and constructive criticism to those that need it. This is more of a hands-on style of leadership where the leader will have to get on the ground with the staff and assess situations personally in order to provide solutions. Creating a network of such administrators will also be a more efficient approach to this solution.

Effective Partnerships

Effective partnerships are necessary in the case of government-run entities like the Australian Mental health Commission when it comes to creating effective measures to approach the various problems created by alcohol and other drugs (AOD). one of the primary concerns that the commission currently faces is the lack of a decentralised approach within the organisation that can handle day to day operations in areas that are remorseless and do not have proper access to facilities within the reach of the commission. In this case, a partnership with rural development groups including various NGOs and other private volunteer groups will prove to be fruitful as they have a more hands-on experience in those areas and can provide various insights into how various aspects of this challenge should be handled in a more effective manner.

Such partnerships can be the basis of establishing close relations with the local community thus making the services of the organisation more familiar and accessible to the people of rural and remote areas. Such organisations will be the best approach to familiarise the programmes that the commission have to the people who have previously been unaware of its existence (Sarmiento, Seear & Fraser, 2019). Working with local schools and other educational organisations will also be another approach that will yield favourable results. Schools are the best way to reach the youth and address the problems of addiction and drug abuse at its roots. If the youth can be counselled properly as to the effects and consequences of irresponsible alcohol and drug abuse much of the problems can be mitigated. Youth counselling and awareness programmes should be one of the primary focus of the organisation and close partnerships with different schools and institutions will ensure that it is done in the most effective and efficient way.

Another key issue that has been pointed out in the previous section of this essay is the lack of a personalised training program within the organisation. This issue presents various challenges when in the process of handling cases and providing care to those who need it. Forming partnerships with organisations such as The Alcohol and Drug Foundation of Australia, The Australian Drug Information Network and Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs will be most effective as these are the organisations that handle day to day operations and have hands-on experience that is required in the field in this case (Barnett, et al. 2018). Thus they will be able to help train individuals indeed and create a better and much stronger organisation.

Partnerships with international organisations like Unicef and the Red Cross intonation will also be key to providing access to critical training, equipment and data that is readily available within these organisations. Thus with help of such partnerships, the commission can make more informed policy decisions. Such policy decisions are key to addressing and preparing for future problems that will arise. Thus predicting future challenges and recommending likewise solutions to the legislative body will be key to the future of the organisation.

Importance of Innovation

While operating in the field of drug and alcohol recovery, it is necessary to understand that new challenges will be created every day. It is essential that there is considerable and continuous innovation in the field (Storbjörk, Garfield, & Larner, 2017)). With more and more research that is being conducted in the field of alcohol and drug recovery, more and more new and relevant information is coming into light. This information needs to be incorporated into the existing structure of the Alcohol and drug recovery programme of the Australian Mental Health Commission. Staying up to date and innovating in the newly provided knowledge will lead to more efficient use of the commission's resources. Thus staying up to date and under continuous innovation is the only way to tackle the forever changing nature of addiction and alcohol abuse. When discussing innovation it is necessary to stress the needs of prevention rather than seeking a cure. In the case of alcohol and drug abuse, any long term solutions need to address the causes of the problem (Farrugia, Pienaar, Fraser, Edwards & Madden, 2020). The only way to mitigate this problem from society completely is to understand why an individual might need to seek refuge in addiction. Treating the cause in the case is far more important than finding proper ways to treat the condition. Thus innovation in the field of preventive care is an important aspect in this context and requires more focus.


This essay attempts to discuss the different aspects of various operations that are carried in the community service sector of Australia. In this particular case, the research focuses on the support service for men living with alcohol and drug-related problems in this country. The essay describes in the brief how this service sector operates and identifies a few key issues that are being faced by this sector. The paper then goes on to elaborate on the various leadership styles that may be incorporated within the organisation in order to address the issues that have been previously highlighted. Various partnership opportunities have been pointed out which might help mitigate some of the challenges addressed and provide scope for further innovation. Finally, drawing inferences from these conclusions the importance of innovation in the community service section have been discussed briefly.


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