Curriculum: Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling

November 15, 2019
60-120
January 13, 2020

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Sample Curriculum

Customized individual schedule will be available after admission and transfer credit evaluation.

In order to prepare students for successful careers in substance abuse counseling, UC Online offers a variety of classes from “Case Management & Treatment Planning” to “Substance Abuse Counseling for Families & Other Relationships.” See detailed course descriptions below.

A customized individual schedule will be available after admission and transfer credit evaluation.

Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling

This course is designed to provide an overview of the field of substance abuse counseling and its graduate level academic trajectories (counseling, social work, psychology, etc.) Students will be oriented to the learning expectations of the program and the university consistent with UC's baccalaureate competencies. Students will develop a portfolio, including a career plan and personal learning contract, which will be supplemented throughout the course of the substance abuse counseling program.

Introduction to Substance Abuse Prevention

Students will learn about evidence-based best practices in substance abuse and related behavior prevention. The course content is designed to increase student knowledge and skills as they prepare to develop, implement, and evaluate prevention programs in clinical settings, schools and communities.

Historical Perspectives in Substance Abuse Counseling

This course provides a global, historical survey of human psychoactive substance use and also approaches to addressing harmful use. Drawing on primary and secondary historical artifacts, the course begins with a look at ancestral human substance use and proceeds with an exploration of how substance use interacts with evolved psychology. Students then review early conceptualizations of problematic or harmful use; the impact of substance abuse on society, the law, foreign policy, and economy; and also legal and social responses to substance-related problems throughout history. Finally, the course reviews the history of the addictions treatment discipline, with a focus on substance abuse counseling. Throughout the course, students evaluate current and historical debates about how substance abuse should be conceptualized, explained, and addressed at the levels of individuals, families, and societies.

Basic Pharmacology

This course provides students with concepts in pharmacology explored through the lens of substance use disorders. Students will gain an understanding of the human nervous system, learning how it reacts to addictive drugs and the physiological reasons one becomes dependent. In addition, students will learn about clinical trials and the research designs used to test the safety and efficacy of prescription medications. Finally, students will explore the role of drug therapies, including opioid replacement therapies,in substance abuse treatment settings.

Alcoholism

This course presents a multidimensional approach to the "disease" of alcoholism. It provides an understanding of the sociological, psychological, physiological, moral and behavioral models and effects associated with the disorder. In addition,students will receive and review diagnostic and therapeutic tools currently in use.

Drugs and Behavior

In this course, students will review the individual, family, and societal factors that are associated with individual substance use. In addition, this course will explore the biochemicaland predisposition variables of chemical dependency, as well as the psychological and behavioral effects on the dependent person and thefamily system. Primary therapeutic and relapse interventions are presented as well as an overviewon prevention models.

Stress Management in Clinical and Community Settings

This course will help students understand the basic principles of stress management and how theymay be applied to clinical and community settings.This is accomplished through the study of the mind-body relationship in stress management (psychophysiology of stress), coping skills, cognitive reappraisal of daily life stressors, andtechniques to deal with these stressors. In addition, students will learn about the relationship between sociological factors and stress and how these are addressed in treatment and prevention.

Assessment and Diagnosis in Substance Abuse Counseling

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to clinical assessment and diagnostic processes in substance abuse counseling. The students will learn the key elements of the multidimensional assessment process, which will include the use of various screening and assessment tools, proper interviewing techniques, and impediments to the assessment process. Students will be introduced to the Multiaxial System in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) with specific concentrations on substance use disorders.

Foundations of Cultural Competence

This course will provide students with the essential substance abuse cultural competency skills needed in the 21st Century. Through interactive discussions and assignments, this course will help students understand their own cultural values and biases so that they may engageothers more effectively. Furthermore, students will learn about others' unique worldviews formed through individual and collective experiences, particularly as related to substance abuse. There will be multiple opportunities to learn and demonstrate culturally competent communication skills.

Drug and Alcohol Use Impacting Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Concern

This course will introduce you to the impact of substance use on children and adolescents through the lens of human development topics and theory. Additionally, information on the influence of substance use on child development and family and child functioning will be reviewed. Review and presentation of theory and research about child development and substance use and addiction will be presented. Writing and presenting information on child development and the impact of substance use on child development is a goal for students participating in this course. Understanding information about child and family coping, stress,and theory related to substance use is another goal of this course.

Ethics in Substance Abuse Counseling

The course is designed to provide students with a foundation for ethical decision making in substance abuse counseling. Students will be introduced to ethical codes, legal standards, and decision making models used to negotiate ethical dilemmas faced by substance abuse professionals. Through case scenarios, student will use these resources and explore their own values, increasingself-awareness and professional competencies.

Abnormal Behavior

The course focuses on the development of abnormal behavior patterns that are diagnosed by mental health professionals. Taught from a practical approach, students will learn commonly occurring diagnoses, their etiology, and how they may be treated in clinical settings. Symptomatology will be explored in relation to biological, sociocultural, psychological and social dimension.Multicultural and ethical issues in relation to diagnosing and referral practices will be addressed.

Co-Occurring Disorders in Treatment

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a basic knowledge about co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Students will learn specific information about individual mentalhealth disorders and evidence-based practices usedto treat them when they occur among individuals who use alcohol or other drugs. Differential diagnoses and referral practices will be explored.Ethical and professional considerations for substance abuse counselors will be emphasized.

Advanced Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Counseling

This course will lead students to develop advancedcultural competencies that are essential in substance abuse counseling practices. Using multicultural competencies, students will gain newknowledge, skills, and attitudes that will better prepare them to engage diverse individuals and communities. In addition, students will learn advocacy competencies that will enable them to support clients who face social inequalities that may impact their substance use and ability to recover.

Theoretical Foundations of Substance Abuse Counseling

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of various counseling theories, specifically thosecounseling models commonly used in the field of substance abuse counseling. Through readings, multimedia materials, assignments and investigative research the student will build the foundation for the development of a personal counseling approach that incorporates best practices. Fundamentals of the counseling process,basic issues faced by a beginning counselor, and ethics and requirements of a therapeutic relationship will be emphasized.

Fundamental Substance Abuse Counseling Skills

This advanced class focuses on the development of fundamental skills necessary for individual counseling of client with a substance use disorder. Drawing from a variety of approaches andtechniques, the student will develop a greater depth of therapeutic communication skills. Experiential exercises, skill demonstration, and self/peer assessment, guide the student to a broader ability to successfully influence a positive therapeutic outcome.

Group Skills in Substance Abuse Counseling

This course is an introduction to group process, leadership and practice for substance abuse counseling. Students will gain insight into theoretical and practical concepts of group counseling used within a substance abuse clinical setting. Ethical, legal, and professional concernsof group process will be addressed, along with parameters for best practices. Within the course, students will conceptualize and develop a group proposal that can be implemented for recovering clients or their families.

Substance Abuse Counseling for Families and Other Relationships

Using systems perspectives, this course provides students the core framework with which to provide substance abuse counseling to families and other intimate relationships. Students will learn the etiology of substance abuse from a relationship perspective, understanding how families and other relationships relate to substance addictions. Overthe term, students will learn how to apply systemstheories and relationship counseling skills to various clinical scenarios.

Crisis Management Skills

This course will provide students the most currentproven practices in crisis management, particularly those encountered by substance abuse professionals. Through a strengths-based lens, crisis will be understood as both dangerous and full of potential where personal and collective assets may be mobilized for growth and change. Subjects will include childhood trauma, disaster response, suicide, sexual assault, partner violence, grief and loss, institutional violence, and self-care strategies.

Maintenance Strategies for Long-Term Substance Abuse Recovery

In this course, students will learn how to help individuals with substance abuse with strategies to prevent relapses and promote recovery. The student will learn the relapse and recovery process, including: understanding the phases of recovery; recognizing a healthy recovery from addiction; understanding the causes, triggers, andmanifestations of relapse; understanding how to prevent relapse; and recognizing relapse and recovery issues uniquely associated with diverse populations.

Case Management and Treatment Planning in Substance Abuse Counseling

This course is designed to help student build their treatment planning and case management skills in substance abuse counseling. Students will apply best practices in treatment planning tovarious case scenarios including clients from populations including men, women, AIDS/HIV infected persons, dually diagnosed individuals, adolescents, older adults and some culturally-specific populations. In addition, students will learn skills to develop community relationships with other service providers and howto appropriately make referrals consistent with best practices and state and federal regulations.

Senior Capstone Experience

This capstone course provides an opportunity to integrate academic course work, best practices research, field (agency) functions and structures,and required licensure content. Through completion of course activities, students will demonstrate senior capstone competencies.

Internship in Substance Abuse Counseling

The purpose of this internship is to support independent functioning as a substance abuse counselor. The internship is a supervised field experience following comprehensive integrated coursework, aligned with national certification standards in substance abuse counseling. Successful completion of the internship will be determined through student and supervisor documentation.

Internship in Substance Abuse Counseling II

This internship is to support independent functioning as a substance abuse counselor. The second internship is a supervised field experience following comprehensive integrated coursework and Internship in Substance Abuse Counseling, aligned with national certification standards in substance abuse counseling. Successful completion of the internship will be determined through student and supervisor documentation.

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