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Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate Program


About the ADACC certificate program

Our Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate Program requires 6 undergraduate courses which encompass the 270 educational hours necessary for the New Jersey State Alcohol and Drug Counselor certificate. These undergraduate courses can be taken as part of the certificate program or as electives, they are open to any students* who are interested in the topic areas. All course topics could benefit students seeking information related to substance use disorders and their treatment.

The ADACC program is tailored to meet the growing need for qualified addiction and behavioral health professionals.

The Addiction Education Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate has been approved by the New Jersey State Approving Agency for Veterans Training. This Veteran Training is eligible for reimbursement under the GI Bill. In 2018, 3.7 million Veterans had a mental and/or substance use disorder (SAMSHA, National Survey on Drug Use & Health: Veterans, 2018). As individuals with substance use disorder continue to increase in the United States the need for treatment services also increases. Our certificate program wants to assist Veterans in obtaining their CADC so that they can work with other veterans struggling with substance use disorders.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the need for substance abuse counselors will increase 22% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations.


Additionally, it is important to recognize that the impact of the continued substance abuse problem in this country is not isolated to the addiction field, but also other helping fields. This supports the demand for well-trained behavioral health professionals in all behavioral health fields. Obtaining the CADC is critical for addiction professionals, and beneficial for other behavioral health professionals to enhance your ability to work with individuals struggling with substance use problems.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/

Our Courses

3 Credits

An Introduction of Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders

An Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders is the initial course for students enrolled in the 18 credit Certificate Program at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies. This course is offered in a hybrid on-line and in person format. This course addresses the social, biological, and psychological factors of the major drugs associated with therapeutic and recreational use and abuse. Topics include drug use as a social problem, theories and treatment of addiction, how drugs work, detrimental health effects of drug use, and legal/ethical confidentiality issues. The aim of this course is to introduce CADC students to the basic concepts relevant to understanding addictive behaviors.
3 Credits

The Brain Mind Experience: How Drugs Impact Brain Functioning

The course provides a general overview and introduction to the psychopharmacology of alcohol, and major drugs classes as well as prescription drugs commonly used in treating mental health and addiction issues. It covers basic pharmacology and neuroscience, specific to addiction counseling. Students will learn the strengths and limitations of a strictly disease-based approach to understanding addictive behaviors, and ways to integrate this information into the bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach. Students will conceptualize the role that biologically based etiological factors play in the development of addictive disorders, and how those factors serve to promote continued drug/alcohol use despite serious health consequences. The course will also examine the impact of age, race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical and mental ability on biologically based issues related to addictive and cooccurring disorders.
3 Credits

Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders: Assessment and Diagnosis

This course provides an overview of the field of addiction counseling with an emphasis on developing a detailed understanding and foundation of skills in the use of specific strategies, procedures, and interventions in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of substance abuse. It will focus on the assessment and diagnosis of common addictive disorders. Students will learn how to develop a therapeutic alliance, conduct a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment, and develop systematic diagnostic summaries utilizing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fifth Edition (DSM 5). Students will learn how to evaluate a variety of assessment instruments for addictions, and to assess the impact of age, race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical and mental ability on recovery from addictive disorders.
3 Credits

Evidence-based Treatment: Current Perspectives and Approaches

Students will be introduced to a range of evidence based treatments including motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, crisis intervention, twelve step facilitation, and contingency management. This practice based course focuses on addiction counseling skills for work with individuals, couples, families, and groups, particularly for clients presenting with cooccurring disorders. Students will learn basic counseling and communication skills through lectures, small group discussions, and role-plays. Issues of multiculturalism and diversity will be presented and developed throughout the course via readings, discussions and student writing assignments and will be infused throughout the course content.
3 Credits

Case Management and Community Resources

Emphasis in this course will be placed on treatment planning and case management skills for clients dealing with substance use disorders (SUDs) and any co-occurring disorders or life issues. Students will gain knowledge and practical skills in case management, ongoing monitoring and assessment, and referral of clients to appropriate services as needed. Students will learn about coordinated care systems and the importance of treatment teams, including how properly to consult with supervisors, counselors, professionals, and/or other service providers to assure comprehensive, quality care for clients. Topics such as HIV and the wide variety of services available in New Jersey will be covered, in addition to NJ systems for Families and Children, Disabilities, Mental Health, Employment, and Criminal Justice.
3 Credits

Counselor Training and Professional Ethics

This course focuses on counselor training and ethical decision making as well as professional development for professionals working with clients dealing with substance use disorders (SUDs). Students will gain knowledge of the professional and ethical responsibilities assumed by counselors through the operationalization of key formal ethical cannons. Case vignettes will encourage the exploration and application of ethical codes within clinical scenarios. Students The course will familiarize students with ethical responsibilities, clinical supervision, and the importance of continual growth through post certificate professional education. Federal, state, and licensing act regulations will be covered. Students will also identify the personal and professional risks to health and mental health for social workers and addictions counselors, and learn self-care and other strategies to ensure professional effectiveness. The relevance and study of compassion fatigue will be addressed. Experiential exercises geared towards expanding students’ awareness and understanding of the psyche/soma relationship will serve as the basis for discussion of self-care, professional and personal wellbeing. Finally,  students will participate in practical preparation for licensing, including mock exams, case presentations, application completion, and job applications.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.