Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLPRAC 708 A&B - Assessment and Intervention with Addiction

30 Points

Semester 1 and 2



Develops understanding and competency in assessment and intervention work with clients having co-existing problems, specifically those most affected by alcohol and drug issues. It focuses on comprehensive assessment, effective clinical interventions, drug-specific interventions and culturally-specific approaches working with individuals, whanau, and communities. It will involve regular review of practice using case-based scenarios filmed with feedback from tutors, mentors and peers.


Corequisites: POPLHLTH 737, POPLPRAC 707

To complete this course students must enrol in POPLPRAC 708 A and B

Places in this course are limited with preference given to students admitted to the PGCert/PGDip Health Sciences in Alcohol and Drug Studies. Students from other programmes may be enrolled on the basis of academic merit as measured by GPA, subject to places being available.

Students in this practice–based course must be currently working with alcohol/drug affected clients. This course is part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences specialising in Alcohol and Drug Studies.

Learning and teaching

This 30 point course is taught over Semester 1 and Semester 2 on eight Tuesdays and one Wednesday from 9am-3.00 pm. The mornings will begin with a lecture followed by a practice session using filmed and live counselling sessions followed by feedback of these sessions in the afternoon. 

Goals of the course

It is designed to provide the basis for students to develop their competence as practitioners working with alcohol and drug affected clients. 

Learning outcomes 

At the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Conduct and report on a comprehensive alcohol and drug assessment
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of a range of intervention strategies for addressing alcohol and drug problems
  • Put together an intervention plan based on the comprehension of an assessment
  • Work effectively with complex problems associated with specific drugs of dependence
  • Incorporate family, community, and cultural perspectives into work with clients
  • Have a good understanding and can work effectively with people affected by both mental health and addiction problems
  • Have emerging knowledge of DSM diagnosis and familiarity with its use in addiction and mental health settings 

Content outline

Assessment topics cover

  • Cultural aspects
  • First contact
  • Interview skills
  • Risk assessment and screening for mental health issues
  • Alcohol and drug assessment
  • DSM & Comorbidity

Intervention topics cover

  • Therapeutic approaches and their underlying philosophies
  • Cultural aspects of intervention
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Brief intervention
  • Individual approaches
  • Group approaches
  • Inpatient programmes
  • Outpatient programmes
  • Special target groups
  • Special intervention strategies
  • Networking with particular emphasis on cultural aspects

Campus teaching dates 

This course is held at Tāmaki Campus. Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.


100% course work.

Assessment Report and Interview 15%

Intervention Report and Interview 15%

Case Study 20%

Final assessment (written and oral) 50%

Learning resources

We will provide most lecture summaries on CANVAS immediately after the presentations. A focus of the course involves filmed student counselling sessions using practice based scenarios.

Course Coordinator

Course Administrator

Academic Director