PYC 5720 – Issues in Addictions
Achieve a compassionate understanding of the challenges surrounding substance abuse.
Duration: 12 weeks (Summer)
Prerequisites: Must be admitted to the Antioch Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program
Gain a comprehensive understanding of substance use, abuse and addiction needed to become an empathetic and effective counselor. Issues in Addictions is a highly interactive course that consists of an energetic mix of informative presentations, personal projects based in reflection, and lively discussions that surround the daily challenges addiction counselors face. Through group exercises, activities and role plays, you’ll gain an immediate understanding of the many challenges faced by those with additions and the professionals who help them.
In this course, your personal reflections of assignments, projects and class activities will be examined closely and help you frame your understanding of substance use, abuse and addiction. You’ll discover how social and cultural attitudes influence treatment options, debate current models of treatment, including self-help programs and drugs, and explore the connection between substance use disorders and other physical and mental health issues. Assessment, intervention, treatment and continuing-care planning will be discussed to give you a robust look at the many trials you’ll encounter as an addictions counselor.
Issues in Addictions expects you to look closely at your own reactions to the trials of living with addiction and share how they frame your perceptions of your client and their treatment options.
Sample Project: Abstinence/Change Project
This individual exploration project challenges you to go through giving up an addiction of your own. You’ll decide on a substance, an aspect of your personality, or a behavior you’d like to lessen or eliminate altogether: sugar, cigarettes, caffeine, gaming, social media, etc. Then, you’ll abstain or refrain from that activity or substance for a month to help you understand the process of withdrawing from something that is a physical or mental habit.
Sample Course Topics Include:
Throughout the course your studies will focus on a core set of topics that coincide with the course’s learning objectives. Sample topics are listed below and are subject to change based on the instructor.
- Completing a mental health exam
- Interest and personality measures
- Assessing intelligence, anxiety, depression, and suicide risk
- Assessing substance use, abuse and addiction
- Screening for substance abuse
- Ethical and legal considerations in assessment
- Concepts of psychological tests & measurement
- Mental health conditions in children and adolescents
Though your personal reflections and preconceived notions to addiction are part of your learning process in this class, core competencies include a solid understanding surrounding the history, diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of treating those with addition issues.
- The cycle of addiction
- The classes of drugs and effects on behavior
- How to differentiate between diagnostic labels for addictive disorders
- How treatment is influenced by cultural and social stigma
- A beginning understanding of current treatment models for addictive and co-occurring disorders
- How to utilize assessment and screening tools, and methodologies, for alcohol, drug and process addiction
At the end of the course you will conduct a critical analysis centered around one specific form of addiction — heroin, gambling, alcohol, etc. — to demonstrate your complete understanding of it. The paper will include a brief history of the addiction, the current information related to it, as well as recent treatment trends and the complexities of them.
For more information about this course, or other courses in the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Antioch Online, please call (855) 792-1049, or request more information.
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