Career Summary

The mission of the Alcohol and Drug Services is to help individuals with various problems associated with use of alcohol and drugs. The goal of professionals in the chemical dependency field is to provide appropriate and effective guidance to encourage behaviors and environments that promote psychological and physical health. There are numerous community programs and projects offered by hospitals, treatment centers, government agencies, and private practices who are committed to the cause of reduction of personal and family suffering, social damage, and economic costs related to addiction and inappropriate use of alcoholic beverages. Customarily, such programs emphasize a supportive environment and are based upon the philosophy of self-help, through expanded understanding of the underlying reasons for individual's addiction and recovery alternatives available to the individual, the family, and the community. Trained counselors and addiction specialists work to meet the needs of anyone seeking help for chemical addiction at any stage of recovery. Services might also target individuals who have been affected by someone else's alcohol or drug use. Although most alcohol and substance abuse counselors have a bachelor's or even advanced degree, employers may not require one for paraprofessional positions.
Program Description

The GCC Certificate program in Specialist in Alcohol/Drug Studies is designed to prepare people to serve as para-professionals in the growing career field of counseling and advisement to individuals with addictions to alcohol or other drugs. It provides instruction in identifying and addressing drug and alcohol issues. The coursework focuses on the history of alcohol and drug use in various cultures, the development of alcohol/drug abuse, the pharmacological, physiological, and psychological implications of substance addiction, and the consequences of dependency on the individual, the family system, and the society at large. The curriculum introduces students to the various patterns of human behavior, chronic affects of chemical dependency on the human body, crisis intervention, the various tools and approaches applied in the rehabilitation process, and the essential counseling techniques used in helping the chemical dependent person establish a successful recovery. Students will have an opportunity to observe, experience and evaluate the AA "twelve step" recovery program methods, survey other self-help treatment alternatives available throughout the community, and explore legal and ethical issues associated with chemical dependency counseling and case management of individual clients, groups and families.

Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor's degree should consult with an academic and/or transfer counselor to discuss transfer requirements.

Key Skills and Characteristics

  • Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of chemical dependency dysfunctions.
  • Knowledge of individual patterns of human behavior, preferences, motivation as well as the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • High ability to work well with various types of people.
  • Capacity to perform a wide range of tasks and use different skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Tact, patience, and emotional stability.

Related Career Titles

*Substance Abuse Specialist  *Chemical Dependency Professional  *Child, Family, or School Social Worker  *Social and Human Service Assistant  *Residential Advisor  *Case Worker 

Please visit the GCC Career Center to research specific occupational information and learn more about your selected career path.

Last updated: 11/15/2009 1:44:53 AM