Youth CEP | AOD resources for the workforce updated

29 November 2021

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi – engari he toa takitini kē.
My strength is not mine alone – it is the strength of many.

At Whāraurau we are excited to bring you an update regarding mahi that has been occurring in our Youth Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD), and Co-existing Problems (CEP) space with a refresh across several important resources for our sector.

Youth CEP | AOD Resources for the Workforce

The Youth CEP | AOD website

For the last couple of years Whāraurau has had a stand-alone website called ‘Opt for Wellbeing’. This has been the hub for resources and information about Youth AOD and CEP practice.

The CEP | AOD site has now been reviewed and refreshed. The new site is much easier to navigate and more intuitive to use.

Please check out the site and have a look through the various resources on offer.
Scroll through the drop-down menus...

... and click on the tabs, you never know what you might find that could be helpful to you in your practice right now!

We want to make sure this site is meeting the needs of the Youth AOD and CEP sector, so please contact us ([email protected]) with any feedback or suggestions about what you would like included for this to be as helpful as it can be going forward. The site will be evolving and improving all the time.


Substances and Choices Scale (SACS)

Most of you will probably be very familiar with the SACS but here’s a little reminder:

  • SACS stands for Substances and Choices Scale.
  • The SACS was developed in New Zealand by Dr Grant Christie and validated for use with taiohi (young people) aged 13-18.
  • It is a one-page, self-reporting questionnaire designed to be administered by those working with taiohi.
  • It records the number of times a substance has been used over the previous month and rates substance use-related symptoms and harm with a score out of 20.
  • It has excellent psychometric properties and is sensitive and specific.
  • It has been rated highly by taiohi and can be used to measure progress and outcome.
  • It doesn’t take long to complete and is free to do.
  • It was designed to be used in conjunction with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Combined, they provide a snapshot of a taiohi's broader psychosocial functioning.

The SACS is widely utilised across the motu in work with young people and by a wide range of youth professionals, and the SACS-ABC brief intervention resources and training have also been well implemented. Despite this, the SACS questionnaire itself has not been reviewed since it was first designed.

We are excited to now bring to you an updated version of the SACS questionnaire that has had a refresh in terms of many of the terms for substances and also had a new question added regarding vaping use in Section C given the increase in this as an issue for taiohi in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Click here to access the new SACS questionnaire.


Substance Use and Taiohi eLearning modules

Again, many of you will be aware that some time ago now Whāraurau developed the eLearning modules regarding Youth AOD and Co-existing Problems (CEP) that have been hosted on the website.
(Note: you will need to set up a profile on the Goodfellow Unit website to access eLearning.)

The content of these modules has now also been reviewed and refreshed, and consolidated from nine short modules, to two slightly longer ones. We hope these will be easier and more realistic for our busy workforce to complete.

If you have completed the previous eLearning modules, we encourage you to check out the new content and reinforce the knowledge you already have.

If you are new to the sector then we certainly recommend these modules as an important tool in your kete. They will provide orientation to the sector and foundational knowledge regarding how to work with and support taiohi experiencing substance use problems as well as understanding about the importance of integrated care for those presenting with CEP.



Ngā mihi nui | Kind regards
The team @ Whāraurau