Substance Abuse Counseling Field Expected to Grow
Continuing & Career Education (CCE) at Assumption College has launched a certificate program in alcohol and substance abuse counseling that is specifically designed for Cape Cod residents wishing to enter this in-demand career field. Classes are scheduled to start Jan. 23 in West Dennis Public Library, at 260 Main St., West Dennis, Mass.; registration is now open.
The 30-credit program consists of eight courses—all held at the West Dennis Public Library—that cover alcohol- and drug-specific topics, substance-use service assessment, counseling techniques, professional ethics, and behavioral and social issues. It also prepares students to take the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) exams.
Reports by The Cape Cod Times, The Enterprise and WCVB-TV Channel 5 have labeled the Cape's drug problem an "epidemic." In addition, employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow by 27 percent through 2020—faster than the average for all occupations—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The program is specially tailored for Cape Cod, an area that has been hit hard by the tragedy of addiction,’” said Dennis Braun, director of Assumption College’s Continuing and Career Education department, which oversees the program. “We aim to provide students with the tools and training they’ll need to serve their community as alcohol and drug counseling professionals.
In addition to their coursework, students will be expected to complete a 300-hour internship in an alcohol and substance abuse treatment facility.
“The internship experience provides students with the opportunity to work on the core functions of alcohol and substance abuse counseling: assessment, treatment planning, case management, support, intervention, client education and documentation,” said Braun.
Earlier this year, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law new legislation that removes barriers to treatment for those battling addiction and puts in place safeguards to help stem the tide of addiction facing the Commonwealth. The law also requires all insurance carriers to reimburse for substance abuse treatment services provided by a licensed counselor, which will improve access to treatment for those struggling with addiction.
The certificate program is approved by the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals; Massachusetts Department of Public Health for Licensure of Alcohol and Drug Counselor; and the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification program.
Upon completing the certificate program, students may choose to apply all credits toward an Assumption College Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies with a concentration in alcohol and substance abuse counseling.
More information about the Cape Cod-based program may be found here.