Do You Have What It Takes To Make A Difference To People’s Lives?

Developing issues with the use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) can happen to anyone. The harmful effects of AOD use can be felt by individuals, families, loved ones and the broader community, which is why the South Australian AOD sector provides a diverse range of services to meet the needs of different people.

People who work within the AOD sector can make a big impact in supporting people who are looking for help, whether it be individuals who use drugs or alcohol, their families, or their wider communities. It takes a broad range of professional and personal skills and experience to support a diverse and at times complex client group.

The AOD sector offers many different opportunities across multiple programs and settings. With many different roles in many different environments that offer many different challenges, we’re after people with skills, experience and passion for helping those in their community.

Careers in AOD

The AOD sector offers many career options and pathways. Settings include residential services, hospitals, community health centres, non-residential settings, home based services and online support among others. There is also research opportunities, resource development and public service roles in AOD policy and overseeing AOD service providers.

The AOD sector offers values-driven individuals the opportunity to contribute towards improving the health and welfare of people who experience issues with AOD use, while building a fulfilling career. Experience in AOD also sets you up to move into other community sectors, making AOD experience a sought-after background among potential emploQualifiyers.

Roles in the AOD sector include:

Working together to help people recover from substance use issues can be a challenging but rewarding experience. If you enjoy connecting with people in a real and meaningful way, this may be the career you’re looking for.








Educators /














Peer Support



What it’s like to work in the South
Australian AOD Sector

  • Jasmin
    I chose to work in the AOD field as it provides an opportunity to support diverse populations and utilise a broad range of skills. The field intersects different areas of practice, and each day provides a new challenge. There are a broad range of reasons that can lead a young person to use substances in a problematic way, and I value the opportunity to be a part of someone’s journey into recovery, empower them to live a life full of quality and reduce the stigma surrounding alcohol and other drug use.
  • Sophie
    As a Youth Worker, I was continuously frustrated at the lack of services and programs for vulnerable young people to access in a regional setting for their AOD issues. Now, working in the AOD sector, I really enjoy the mutual respect between myself and those who walk in the door of my office, whoever they are. I love seeing people get to where they want to be, and their humour, resilience and respect for a therapeutic alliance.
    Sophie Bourchier
    Substance Misuse Limestone Coast
  • Throughout my career and personal life I have observed the impacts AOD has had on people’s lives and the barriers for people seeking treatment. I never set out directly to work in this field, but through my career journey, I wanted to be part of supporting people. As a Senior Practitioner with New ROADS, it’s an absolute privilege to be in a position to work directly with clients on their recovery journey. The work isn’t always easy, however, the reward that comes from seeing people flourish and succeed and the benefits observed when community attitudes shift makes this work extremely worthwhile.
    New ROADS, Uniting Communities
  • Lisa
    It was never my goal to work in the AOD Sector. In the 90s I was trying a start fresh after a stint in prison and a 10-year dependence on various illicit substances. After a great deal of self-reflection, I eventually felt stable enough to change my path. While I was studying, I volunteered at a local AOD service and the work has been so rewarding. I have been stopped by past clients in the street who have wanted to let me know that I really helped them, and they were doing well.
    Hepatitis SA

Links to further information

If you’re interested in further information about a career in the Alcohol and
Other Drug Sector, visit the links below.

SANDAS Jobs Board

Vacancies in the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Sector are listed here.

Getting You Ready for a New Career

Explore the opportunities for further study in Alcohol and Other Drug work for a range of qualifications.

Ongoing Learning

Visit our Events page for links to further Professional Development opportunities from SANDAS and other providers.