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Coaching and Counseling ►Drug & Alcohol Counselor Certificate Program




This training program combines a two course training track:

  • Drug & Alcohol Counseling - Level 1
  • Drug & Alcohol Counseling - Level 2

Drug and Alcohol Counseling reflects the explosion of information regarding the understanding, identification, and treatment of addictive disorders. It examines the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, and hallucinogens, as well as chemicals -- such as aerosols, steroids, and over-the-counter analgesics. Additionally, the program investigates solid strategies for working with clients, the differences between abusers and addicts; drug effects on children, teenagers, and pregnant and nursing women; and children of alcoholics, evidence-based treatments available, including motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, skills training, medication and 12 step facilitation. Guiding the student step- by-step through treatment, this course presents state-of-the-art tools, and forms and tests necessary to deliver outstanding treatment and to meet the highest standards demanded by accrediting bodies.


The Job Outlook

Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as more people seek treatment for their addictions or other behaviors and drug offenders are increasingly sentenced to treatment rather than jail time. In recent years, the criminal justice system has recognized that people committing crimes related to drugs are less likely to offend again if they get treatment for addiction. As a result, sentences for drug offenders often include treatment programs. This practice is expected to increase the use of substance abuse treatment programs and the demand for addiction counselors


Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 1

Have you ever thought about a career in addiction counseling? Addiction counseling professionals treat individuals who are in need of substance abuse counseling as well as offer peace of mind to the families of persons who are in need of drug addiction counseling.

Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 1 reflects the explosion of information regarding the understanding, identification, and treatment of addictive disorders. It examines the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, and hallucinogens, as well as chemicals -- such as aerosols, steroids, and over-the-counter analgesics. Additionally, the course investigates solid strategies for working with clients, the differences between abusers and addicts; drug effects on children, teenagers, and pregnant and nursing women; and children of alcoholics.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Define methods for detecting and determining addiction type
  • Identify methods for understanding addiction and avoiding triggers
  • Define the different treatment approaches
  • Identify techniques for overcoming addiction and solving the problems it has caused
  • Identify methods for counseling and treatment

Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 2

Drug and Alcohol Counseling Level 2 is a comprehensive course for people who want to work with the chemically dependent and addicted in a variety of treatment settings. This course shows the student how to use the best evidence-based treatments available, including motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, skills training, medication and 12 step facilitation. Guiding the student step-by-step through treatment, this course presents state-of-the-art tools, and forms and tests necessary to deliver outstanding treatment and to meet the highest standards demanded by accrediting bodies.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify steps for initial assessment and treatment planning
  • Comprehend various therapies and treatment groups available to the individual
  • Identify the steps involved in the AA 12 step program
  • Identify dual diagnoses and family treatment programs
  • Define clinical staff and characteristics of a good counselor

Prerequisite: Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 1


Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 1

Basics of Abuse & Addiction

  • About Substance Abuse
  • The Cost of Chemical Abuse/Addiction
  • Society's Response
  • The Continuum of Chemical Use
  • Definitions of Terms Used
  • The Growth of New "Addictions"
  • A Basic Misconception
  • Effects & Side Effects of Chemicals
  • The Process of Neurotransmission
  • An Introduction to Alcohol
  • Blood Alcohol Levels
  • Medical Complications of Alcohol
  • Effects of Alcohol Abuse/Addiction
  • Complications of Chronic Alcohol Use
  • Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
  • Barbiturates & Barbiturate-Like Compounds
  • Pharmacology of Barbiturates
  • Neuroadaptation, Tolerance & Physical Dependence

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 2

Commonly Abused Chemicals 1

  • Medical Uses of the Benzodiazepines
  • Side Effects of the Benzodiazepines
  • Long-Term Consequences of Chronic Use
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • CNS Stimulant Abuse
  • Cocaine Abuse & Dependence
  • History of Cocaine
  • Methods of Cocaine Abuse
  • Complications of Cocaine Abuse/Addiction
  • Marijuana Abuse & Addiction
  • History of Marijuana
  • A Medico-Legal Conundrum
  • Methods of Marijuana Abuse
  • Opioid Use, Abuse & Addiction
  • Opiates as Drugs of Abuse

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 3

Commonly Abused Chemicals 2

  • Abuse of & Addiction to Hallucinogens
  • Methods of Hallucinogen Abuse
  • The Pharmacology of LSD
  • Scope of Phencyclidine Abuse
  • Complications of PCP Abuse
  • ECSTASY (MDMA)
  • Salvia Divinorum
  • Abuse of & Addiction to Inhalants
  • Scope of the Problem of Inhalant Abuse
  • Anesthetic Misuse
  • Problem of Steroid Abuse
  • Scope of the Problem of Anabolic Steroids
  • Sources & Methods of Steroid Abuse
  • Over-the-Counter Analgesics
  • OTC Analgesic Overdoses
  • Tobacco Products & Nicotine Addiction
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Chemicals & the Neonate
  • Scope of the Problem for Pregnant Women

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 4

The Many Faces of Substance Abuse

  • Gender & Addiction
  • Differing Effects of Common Drugs on Women
  • The Faces of Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • SUD & the Homeless
  • SUD & the Elderly
  • SUD & Minorities
  • SUD & Children/Adolescents
  • Screening & Assessment Tools
  • Rehabilitation for Children or Adolescents
  • SUD & College Students
  • Consequences of SUD in the College Population
  • Codependency & Enabling
  • Reactions to the Concept of Codependency
  • Addiction and the Family
  • Scope of the Problem
  • Interventions
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 5

Understanding Substance Abuse Disorders

  • The Dual-Diagnosis Client
  • Substance Use Disorder & Mental Illness
  • A Diagnostic Challenge
  • Psychopathology & Drug of Choice
  • Treatment Approaches with Dual-Diagnosis
  • The Medical Model of SUD
  • Applications of the Medical Model of Addictions
  • The Psychosocial Models of SUD
  • Personality Predisposition Theories
  • SUD & Psychological Defenses
  • A Disease of the Human Spirit
  • The Mind-Body Question
  • The Games of Addiction
  • Honesty & False Pride
  • Assessment of SUD
  • The Assessment Format
  • Diagnostic Rules
  • A Definition of Intervention
  • Common Forms of Intervention

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 6

The Treatment of Addiction

  • Treatment Settings
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Residential Treatment Programs
  • Aftercare Programs
  • The Process of Treatment
  • Methods of Treatment
  • The Stages of Recovery
  • Substance Abuse Rehabilitation
  • Pharmacological Interventions
  • Pharmacotherapy of SUDs
  • Relapse & Other Problems
  • Limit Testing by Clients
  • Treatment Noncompliance
  • Lapse & Relapse
  • Cravings & Urges
  • Toxicology Tests
  • Psycho-Educational Interventions

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 7

Other Issues in Chemical Dependence

  • Support Groups for Recovery
  • History of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Elements of AA
  • AA & Outside Organizations
  • The Purpose of AA
  • Effectiveness of AA
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Al-Anon &Alateen
  • Other Types of Support Groups
  • Challenges with 12-Step Programs
  • SUD & Infectious Disease
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Pneumonias & Tuberculosis
  • Viral Hepatitis
  • The Relationship Between Drugs & Crime
  • Drug Use & Violence
  • Designer Drugs
  • The Debate Over Legalization
  • The "War" on Drugs

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 1

Counseling: The Initial Hours

  • How to Greet Patients
  • How to Handle Family Members
  • Beginning the Therapeutic Alliance
  • The Initial Assessment
  • The Intoxicated Patient
  • How Patients React in Detoxification
  • The Biopsychosocial Interview
  • Diagnosis and Disposition
  • The Treatment Plan
  • How to Build a Treatment Plan
  • The Problem List
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Treatment Plan Review
  • How to Write Progress Notes

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 2

Counseling and Treatment

  • Individual Treatment Process
  • The Therapeutic Alliance
  • Transference and Countertransference
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • How Patients Use Feelings Inappropriately
  • How Patients Learn Relationship Skills
  • Benefits of Group Therapy
  • Preparation for the Group
  • The Honesty Group
  • The Euphoric Recall Group
  • The Reading Group
  • The Relapse Prevention Group
  • The Spirituality Group
  • The Childhood Group
  • The Men’s Group / Women’s Group
  • The Community Group
  • The Personal Inventory Group
  • Creating and Using Contracts

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 3

The AA 12 Step

  • Step One: Powerless and Unmanageable
  • Step Two: Belief in a Higher Power
  • Step Three: Turn it Over to God
  • Step Four: Fearless Moral Inventory
  • Step Five: Sharing the Moral Inventory
  • Educational Lectures Series
  • Lecture Series: The Disease
  • Lecture Series: Defense Mechanisms
  • Lecture Series: The Great Lie & the Truth
  • Lecture Series: Normal Development
  • Lecture Series: Physical Addiction and Recovery
  • Lecture Series: Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Lecture Series: Understanding Feelings

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 4

Dual Diagnosis and Family Therapy

  • Psychiatric / Psychological Assessment
  • Depressed Patient
  • Angry Patient
  • Homicidal Patient
  • Personality Disorders
  • Antisocial Personality
  • Borderline Patient
  • Narcissistic Patient
  • Anxious Patient
  • Psychotic Patient
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • Patient with Low Intellectual Functioning
  • The Elderly Patient
  • Early childhood Trauma
  • Pathological Gambler
  • Adolescent Treatment
  • The Family Program
  • How to Treat Family Members

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 5

The Clinical Staff and Being a Good Counselor

  • The Physician
  • Psychologist & Psychiatrist
  • Nursing Staff
  • Clinical Director and Supervisor
  • Chemical Dependency Counselor
  • The Rehabilitation Technician
  • Activities Coordinator
  • Team Building
  • Staff-Patient Problems
  • Discharge Summary and Aftercare
  • Outpatient Discharge Criteria
  • Understanding the Drugs
  • Being a Good Counselor
  • Characteristics of a Good Counselor
  • Code of Ethics

Required Materials:

  • Chemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide by Robert R. Perkinson
  • Concepts of Chemical Dependency by Harold E. Doweiko

Upon successful completion of our Drug and Alcohol Counseling Level 1 and Level 2 courses, students may be prepared, in part, to sit for licensing and credentialing exams. Each state has its own regulations.

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