Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement (ACE) program

Improving brain function for better alcohol and drug treatment outcomes

Research shows that approximately 50% of clients seeking treatment for alcohol or other drug use have cognitive impairment. This can make staying in and benefiting from treatment more challenging. The ACE program is a suite of tools and resources that provide a cognitive impairment intervention for people in alcohol and drug treatment settings.

All services working with clients seeking alcohol and drug treatment can:

  • use the program screening and assessment tools to identify clients with cognitive impairment
  • use the brief intervention and cognitive remediation program to respond to and support clients with cognitive impairment.


The ACE program helped me change my thought patterns and lifestyle. It helped me realise that these [strategies] can be a part of my life so simply. It was a life-changing experience – now, how I abide by rules and how I think; it is easier for me to go to the positive rather than the negative.

Mark, program participant at Calvary Riverina (drug and alcohol service)

The ACE program helped our service and clients by teaching us about the cognitive difficulties some clients were experiencing in their daily lives, due to substance use or traumatic brain injury. The program also gave us the language and tools to address these challenges during treatment.

It was profoundly rewarding for staff and clients to witness the dramatic improvement in concentration, memory recall and calmness that clients in the program experienced.

Marion Pozniak, counsellor at Jarrah House (drug and alcohol service)
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