CADC Courses and Classes Overview

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) or Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) courses train students in various techniques for counseling people struggling with addiction. The article below explains CADC/CAC coursework in more detail.

Essential Information

CADC/CAC programs prepare students to use psychological evaluation and counseling techniques, to deal with difficult topics and to handle ethically compromising situations. While certificate and degree programs in this field are often available through human services or counseling departments at many colleges and universities, continuing education departments also offer short-term training programs in this area. Some programs specifically require that applicants have experience recovering from substance abuse. Many programs are designed to prepare aspiring alcohol and drug counselors for certification or licensure.

Here is a list of concepts commonly examined in CADC/CAC courses:

  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Causes of addiction
  • Motivational interviewing
  • 12-step program
  • Co-dependency/enabling
  • Pharmacology in recovery

List of Common CADC/CAC Courses

Alcohol and Drugs

The basics of substance abuse and the psychology of abusers are covered in this course. Students look at alcoholism and drug abuse and how it affects individuals, relationships and society. Comparisons of drug abuse in sexual abuse and domestic violence cases are observed. Along with case studies, students examine behavioral causes for social and defensive drinking. Students look at treatment steps and relapse of alcoholics and drug abusers. Coursework combines the study of theory, ethics, counseling techniques and case studies.

Introduction to Counseling

This course introduces students to advising people with drug and alcohol addictions. Students use case studies to learn how to deal with suicidal clients and depressed abusers. Ways of identifying and confronting drug and alcohol abusers are examined. Through case studies, students learn how to type personalities, look at the psychology of clients and improve listening skills for better counseling sessions. In some cases, students learn the jargon of the streets to relate to abusers on a personal level.

Individual Counseling

Students look at what it means to counsel substance abusers from an initial assessment through the last counseling session. Through practical experience, communication and listening skills are honed. Students learn to use feedback in their counseling to aid in the recovery of patients.

Group Counseling

This course focuses on the theories and concepts of bringing substance abusers together in a counseling setting. Through research and observation, students are acquainted with the pros and cons of work in a group setting, and they learn to become better group facilitators. Coursework includes strategies for working with groups and explores how group settings can help abusers relate recovery experiences with others.

Family Counseling

The primary focus of this course is preventing the enabling of drug abuse by family members. Students look at the dynamics of drugs in a family setting, the psychological affects and the healing of familial separation. Through lectures, students learn the steps of addiction and the steps to recovery.

CADC Ethics

Students examine the state and federal regulations for substance abuse in this course. They also analyze case studies and explore situations when counselor-client privileges do not apply. Students practice in group settings to discover privacy issues and work with ethical situations.

Crisis Intervention

Preparing students for the most difficult situations that counselors may face, this course is essential for those planning to work in any counseling environment. Students focus on defining a crisis, identifying post-traumatic stress disorder and responding to victimization. A strong focus is placed on self-preservation and locating specialists that aid in rape, HIV, drug abuse and loss.

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