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Online Substance
Abuse Assistant Course

Pharmacy Tech Estimated Time of Completion

Estimated Length of program:
4-7 months, self-paced

Pharmacy Tech Estimated Time of Completion

Program Goal:
To prepare students for an entry-level position working under the supervision of a substance abuse counselor, doing daily tasks in administration and substance abuse counseling.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this course will have the theoretical instruction and practical skills in substance abuse concepts, human services and the importance of teamwork to prepare them for entry-level assistant positions.

The coursework trains students to:

  • Explain the development of workplace psychology and basic psychological concepts.
  • Identify common personality traits and be aware of psychological disorders.
  • Discuss the models of addiction, commonly abused substances and the effects of substance tolerance and withdrawal.
  • Describe various theoretical approaches, treatment models and prevention programs, and apply them to real-world scenarios.
  • Discuss pharmacotherapy for the treatment of substance addictions, cravings and withdrawals.
Online Substance Abuse Assistant school training outcomes


Instruction Pack I: Introduction to the World of Psychology

Instruction Pack I introduces students to the role of a substance abuse assistant. Students will explore personal qualities and desirable character traits that lead to success in this field. Students are introduced to workplace psychology, as well as some basic psychological concepts. Finally, students will study personality traits and psychological disorders.

Instruction Pack II: Addiction Counseling and Treatment

Instruction Pack II is a Study Guide that accompanies the textbook Foundations of Addictions Counseling, 4th Edition, by David Capuzzi and Mark D. Stauffer. This part of the course introduces addiction counseling, including models for the etiology of addiction. After examining the various substances that cause addiction, students will look at the neurobiological and physiological components of addiction. Types of addiction will be explored, such as gambling, technology, sex and work. Then, students will study counselor competency and credentialing requirements. This section wraps up with assessments, learning roles, key points and the process of assessments.

Next, students will learn the various treatment methods for addictions. First, students will discover how to perform a motivational interview. Then, students will examine various approaches to psychotherapy and treatment objectives, strategies and techniques. After examining the ethical and legal issues pertaining to group counseling, as well as how to manage diversity in this type of setting, students will learn the 12-Step process, examining both the advantages and disadvantages of this type of treatment. Finally, students examine maintenance goals and how to prevent a relapse.

In the final part of this course, students will examine the impact of substance abuse on the family, couples and children. Prevention programs that target children and adolescents will be discussed, as well as intervention for college students and mass-media campaigns focused on young adults. Students will explore programs for military personnel, veterans and their families, and prevention programs for older adults. Finally, students will examine how sex and gender identity can complicate treatment considerations but are essential to understand.

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