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Benerd College
For Degree and Credentialing: 209.946.2683 For Professional Development: 209.946.2424 For Sacramento Programs: 916.340.6155

3601 Pacific Ave. Stockton, CA 95211
3200 Fifth Ave. Sacramento, CA 95817


The program consists of 24 total units of instruction taken sequentially in an online format. Each course is 45 hours of instruction and three extended education units of elective credit (eight of these units may be applicable towards an undergraduate degree at Pacific).

Online courses will be 6 weeks, occasionally requiring synchronous interaction. Students take 2 classes at a time. The full program lasts 6 months. In addition to the coursework, students are required to complete 300 hours (255 site, 45 classroom) of supervised internship in order to receive our certificate. Previous internship or experience cannot be counted toward these 300 hours. We recommend you complete the program within six months but it must be completed within three years. If requirements and/or courses have changed during an absence in your attendance, repeating of some classes may be required. Accumulated internship hours may not be done until after the classroom portion is completed and a passing grade is earned in XSAP 167.

Introduction to Addiction Counseling and Program Overview:   
This course is an overview of the substance abuse/addiction counseling industry. History of addiction, theories, regulatory issues, etc. will be included. It covers the eight domains of knowledge in the field of addiction: Clinical Evaluation, Treatment Planning, Referral, Service Coordination, Counseling Clients, Family and Community Education, Documentation, and Professional and Ethical Responsibility.   Additionally, the twelve core functions (Screening, Intake, Orientation, Assessment, Treatment Planning, Counseling, Case Management, Crisis Intervention, Client Education, Referrals, Record-keeping and Consultation with Relevant Professionals) are explored.  Community resources, advocacy and educational programs will be covered. Career pathway employment opportunities coupled with state and national licensing requirements will be discussed. 

Course Code: XSAP 160 (3 Extn. Units)

Counseling Theory, Cultural Diversity and Special Populations:   
This course provides a comprehensive overview of theories and strategies for the prevention of and intervention with alcohol and drug abuse.  Social norms, peer pressure, stereotyping, biases, interpersonal and intrapersonal factors will be explored in relationship to cultural influences and diversity. Special populations such as Americans with Disabilities, LGBTQIA, gangs, elderly and prisoners will be included. . 

Course Code: XSAP 161 (3 Extn. Units)  

Individual, Group and Family Counseling :   
This course provides a survey of the impact of addiction on the individual, the family and in society. A comprehensive study of the dynamics operating in groups and families including the identification of healthy versus dysfunctional groups/families; methods of intervention in dysfunctional groups/families; and the techniques of facilitating treatment groups will be covered. This course offers a practical study of helping strategies and interpersonal skills by engaging students in practicing interview skills and procedures through classroom role playing exercises. 

Course Code: XSAP 162 (3 Extn. Units)  

Physiology, Pharmacology and Mental Health:   
This course provides an understanding of the addiction process including the various models of addiction. It includes basic pharmacology of drugs, and the history, pharmacology and physiological impact of each drug category. Treatment methodologies including abnormal behavior as delineated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will be covered along with co-occurring disorders. Topics include classifications, clinical pictures, casual factors, treatment and outcomes of maladaptive patterns, assessment, therapy and prevention.  
Course Code: XSAP 163 (3 Extn. Units)

Assessment and Treatment Planning:   
This course covers the assessment processes used in treating people with addiction. The student learns how to administer and score a variety of addiction screeners and assessment tools. Based on the assessment information, the student will create effective treatment planning and programs. Various treatment models and plans will be discussed.  

Course Code: XSAP 164 (3 Extn. Units)  

Case Management and Relapse Prevention:   
This course is a review of basic skills for effective and efficient casework management. It will include goal analysis, identification and specification of client objectives, case planning, client contracting, data collection, record keeping, and client progress evaluation and reporting. Skills are applied using actual client examples. Students will be expected to write case plans, client contracts and treatment goals. Relapse, triggers and relapse prevention will be included.

Course Code: XSAP 165 (3 Extn. Units) 

Law, Ethics and Communicable Diseases:   
This course covers professional ethics in the addiction field. Topics will include boundaries, code of conduct, confidentiality (including 42 CFR Part II, Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) etc.) and sexual harassment. The dynamics of addiction for the criminal justice client is studied in depth including parole and probation systems along with alternatives to incarceration in the criminal justice system (Drug Courts, Re-Entry Courts, Proposition 36, AB 109, etc.). Communicable diseases (HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis A,B,C and other sexually transmitted infections) will also be included.
Course Code: XSAP 166 (3 Extn. Units)  

Internship, Employment and Certification Preparation:   
This class is a culmination of all courses and allows the student to put their knowledge and skills into practical application. The class is a total of 45 hours devoted to the internship process. Students will review state licensure requirements. The course will cover common problems, situations, and experiences that may arise during the internship. The practicum consists of 255 supervised hours on site at a State Certified Treatment Program. Students are required to complete the entire 300 hours (45 hours in class and 255 practicum) prior to receiving their substance abuse counseling certification.
Course Code: XSAP 167 (3 Extn. Units) 

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