Substance Abuse Addiction Counselor Certification  
Providing addiction counseling does not require a master's degree.  The College of Continuing and Professional Studies is establishing a Substance Abuse Addiction Counselor Certification program that will help you pass the addiction counselor exam.  The four to five modules needed will be offered every month.  Upcoming modules and dates to be announced.

Module 1 - Theories of Addiction

Purpose:  The content of this module will include the main theories that influence addiction counseling, the factors that influence the process of change, and the multicultural issues that face the counseling process.

Objectives:  Participants who complete this module will be able to

1.      Compare and contrast theories of addiction verbally and in writing.

2.      Describe their own theory of addiction verbally and in writing.

3.      Describe factors that facilitate and inhibit change in addiction behavior.

4.      Describe the multicultural issues that are related to the onset and treatment of addiction.


Module 2 - Pharmacology of Psychoactive Chemical Use, Abuse, and Dependence

Purpose:  The content of this module will include information related to pharmacology and its relationship to addictions counseling, including clinical signs, symptoms, and behaviors that may indicate chemical use, abuse, and/or dependence.  Information will also be presented regarding the classifications, names, and effects of psychoactive chemicals on the central nervous system.

Objectives:  Participants who complete this module will be able to

1.      Describe the signs, symptoms, and behaviors related to abuse and dependence to and withdrawal from psychoactive substances.

2.      Describe the effects of psychoactive chemicals on the central nervous system.

3.      Identify psychoactive chemicals of abuse by their names and classifications.


Module 3 - Theoretical Base of Counseling

Purpose:  The content of this module will include an overview of general counseling theories and their application to addictions counseling.  This module will also present a view of human development including adolescence and stages of adulthood.

Objectives:  Participants who complete this module will be able to

1.      Describe general theories of counseling.

2.      Apply the theories of counseling to the practice of addictions counseling.

3.      Describe the process of human development.


Module 4 - Assessment and Diagnosis of Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues

Purpose:  The content of this module will include an overview of the various mental health diagnoses, Axis I and II, as well as other treatment-related issues, that may co-occur with a diagnosis of chemical abuse and/or dependence.  The overview will also include an exploration of the interrelationship between drugs of abuse and the use of psychotropic medications prescribed by a physician. 

Objectives:  Participants who complete this module will be able to

1.      Describe the mental health issues, including Axis I and II disorders, that may co-occur with chemical addiction.

2.      Describe the impact of co-occurring disorders and the use of medications on the addictions treatment process.

3.      Describe the effects of other addictions-related issues and how they may impact the treatment process.


Module 5 - Counseling Skills and Techniques

Purpose:  The content of this module will include an overview of the treatment process for addictions, which will examine individual, group, and family approaches.  Also included is an overview of relapse prevention theories and techniques and an overview of self-help groups and their impact on relapse prevention.

Objectives:  Participants who complete this module will be able to

1.      Describe and demonstrate the use of individual, group, and family therapy skills of addictions treatment.

2.      Describe the framework of relapse prevention and the techniques that may be used in that process.

3.      Describe the models used in various support or self-help groups available to people who identify themselves as chemically dependent.


Module 6 - Professional Issues in Substance Abuse Counseling

Purpose:  The content of this module will include professional and legal issues that confront addictions counselors and skills for dealing with them. 

Objectives:  Participants who complete this module will be able to

1.      Describe core ethical dilemmas and general ways to approach them.

2.      Describe a rationale for professional counselor behavior.

3.      Describe laws and regulations that govern the practice of addictions counseling.

4.      Describe and apply skills in complying with professional and legal requirements of the profession.


Module 7 - Twelve Core Functions

Purpose:  The content of this module will include an integration of theories and skills used in all the modules and their applications.  In this module, participants will review all material learned in the form of the 12 Core Functions identified by NAADAC and participate in practice exercises that will prepare them for the licensing exam.

Objectives:  Participants who complete this module will be able to

1.      Describe the 12 Core Functions and the skills involved in each.

2.      Apply the 12 Core Functions to a case study.

3.      Successfully complete exercises that prepare them for the credentialing exam.


The modules are training for the CAC I & CAC II credentials and do not require a masters degree.  In addition, we have a Substance Abuse Counseling track in the Master's program and it leads to MAC and CAC I & CAC II.


For more information, please contact Dr. Brenda Callahan at callahan_bg@mercer.edu
To register, please call 678-547-6044.
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