Academic Catalog

Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, Certificate

Program Description

The twenty-four credit-hour Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (ASAC) certificate provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of alcohol and substance abuse counseling. The course sequence includes the following:

  • Knowledge of Substance Abuse: Assessment, Evaluation and Treatment Planning;
  • Neurochemistry of Addiction: Pharmacology, Substance Abuse Counseling Theory;
  • Individual and Group Counseling;
  • Substance Abuse Counseling: Special Populations, Case Management and Educational Outreach; and
  • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities.

The course sequence reflects a range of knowledge, skills, and professional techniques related to chemical dependence counseling. The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling certificate is approved as a fully Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) 350-Hour Certificate Program by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

Program Goals

  1. In order to understand the fundamentals of alcohol and substance abuse, the students will:
    1. Define and describe the most common treatment, intervention, and prevention programs.
    2. Define addiction.
    3. Evaluate psychotherapeutic theories and techniques.
    4. Describe the biology of addiction and the effects of drugs of abuse on the body.
    5. Demonstrate familiarity with key drugs of abused and treatment.
  2. In order to develop skills in alcohol and substance abuse counseling, the students will:
    1. Describe and apply the basic theories and principles of alcoholism and substance abuse counseling.
    2. Develop and demonstrate interpersonal communication skills appropriate for counseling.
    3. Demonstrate familiarity with issues pertinent to substance abusers, such as anger management, personality and addiction, depression and suicide, aggression, and motivation.
    4. Describe and evaluate theories of vocational counseling.
    5. Analyze and apply theories and practices relevant to group counseling sessions.
    6. Describe the issues and challenges of working with the elderly, women, and children.
    7. Demonstrate sensitivity to the counseling needs of special populations, including adolescent abusers, the mentally ill, gender and sexual orientation, and those with communicable diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.
  3. In order to understand the issues involved in assessment, clinical evaluation, treatment planning, case management, and family and community education, the students will:
    1. Describe procedures for the screening, evaluation, and intake of patients.
    2. Evaluate and use the tools used to assess and diagnose chemical dependency.
    3. Recognize and describe the stages of recovery.
    4. Create an appropriate treatment plan.
    5. Describe the overall function of the case manager.
    6. Explain the role of cultural diversity in treatment scenarios.
    7. Define and describe the addicted family systems theory.
  4. In order to describe and explain the professional and ethical responsibilities involved with substance abuse counseling, the students will:
    1. Articulate the relevance of ethical standards and behavior in counseling situations.
    2. Describe the methods used to maintain accurate and secure health records.
    3. Explain and apply professional, state, and federal guidelines for ethical behavior.

Credit Distribution and Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterHours
HHS 201 Knowledge of Substance Abuse 3
HHS 203 Neurochemistry of Addiction: Pharmacology 3
 Hours6
Second Semester
HHS 202 Assessment, Evaluation and Treatment Planning 3
HHS 204 Substance Abuse Counseling Theory 3
 Hours6
Third Semester
HHS 205 Individual and Group Counseling 3
HHS 206 Substance Abuse Counseling: Special Populations 3
 Hours6
Fourth Semester
HHS 207 Case Management and Educational Outreach 3
HHS 208 Professional and Ethical Responsibilities 3
 Hours6
 Total Hours24