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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling

Graduate Certificate in Addictions & Substance Abuse Counseling

Overview

The Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling is pleased to offer a Graduate Certificate in Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling. Addictions counseling is an ever-expanding field. Alcohol continues to be the most abused drug of choice and the rate of dependence and need for treatment remains high. Though illicit drug use has leveled off in many areas, there is a significant increase in the abuse of many prescription medications. Additionally, the incidence of the non-medical use of opioids— usually prescribed to treat pain, Central nervous system depressants—used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, and stimulants—prescribed to treat Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, has significantly increased as well. Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs.

The proportion of all substance abuse treatment admissions aged 12 or older that reported prescription and pain reliever abuse increased more than fourfold between 1998 and 2008, from 2.2 to 9.8 percent and cut across age, gender, race/ ethnicity, education, employment, and region. Older substance abuse treatment admissions (aged 50 or older) increased from 6.6 percent of all admissions 12 years of age or older in 1992 to 12.2 percent in 2008. These statistics indicate that with the aging population there will be an ever-expanding need for addictions counselors for this age group.

The field of substance abuse counseling has changed significantly over the last few years as a result of advances in brain imaging and a greater understanding of both brain chemistry and neuroadaptation (tolerance and withdrawal). Hence, there is an increasing tendency to recognize a variety of repetitive behaviors that result in an intemperate relationship with an activity as in addiction. There are adverse biological, social, or psychological consequences for the person engaging in such behaviors and process addictions such as gambling, compulsive shopping, sexual and pornography addiction, food addiction, and internet, cell phone and texting excesses. There will be an increasing need for treatment of these excessive behaviors.

Course List

The 15 hours listed below are required for a Graduate Certifi­cate in Addiction & Substance Abuse Counseling. The three hour practicum must include 14 hours of work per week in a supervised substance abuse field site.

CEU/Licensure Credit: This graduate certificate program is approved for education and training by the Certification Board for Addictions Professionals of Florida (CBAPF approved provider #179A).

Required Courses

  • RCS 5450 Fundamentals of Substance Abuse Counseling (3)
  • RCS 6459 Professional Skills for Addictions Counselors (3)
  • RCS 6456 Counseling Approaches for Substance Abusers (3)
  • RCS 6803 Practicum in a Substance Abuse Facility (3)

Electives (Choose one)

  • RCS 6930 Obesity and Eating Disorders (3)
  • RCS 6930 Spirituality and Counseling (3)
  • RCS 6930 Introduction to Mind Body Techniques (3)
  • RCS 6930 Principles and Practices of Personal Change (3)
  • Or other approved elective. (3)

Course Sequencing & Schedule

The Certificate has a specific sequence of courses to prepare students with the basic knowledge needed to excel in the more clinically advanced courses. Courses in the certificate are offered on a set schedule with Fundamentals of Substance Abuse Counseling being offered in both the spring and fall semesters and Professional Skills for Addictions Counselors and Counseling Approaches for Substance Abusers being offered every summer. For a full list of classes and when they will be offered click on the link below.

Course Sequencing

No pre-requisites required

  • RCS 5450 Fundamentals of Substance Abuse Counseling (3)

One pre-requisite required
(Fundamentals of Substance Abuse Counseling)

  • RCS 6459 Professional Skills for Addictions Counselors (3)
  • RCS 6456 Counseling Approaches for Substance Abusers (3)
  • RCS 6803 Substance Abuse Facility (3)

Click here for the Course Schedule

The Faculty

The faculty consists of University of South Florida professors with many years of both clinical and teaching experience. The Certificate also uses experts from academic and research departments within the University and surrounding professional community.

Core Faculty

  • Theo Carroll, Ph.D., LMHC, CRC
    Dr. Carroll is the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Addictions & Substance Abuse Counseling and has taught as an adjunct for the Department of Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Florida since 1994. She has 26 years experience as a psychotherapist and has been in private practice for 17 years. Dr. Carroll specializes in Substance Abuse Counseling as well as Obesity and Eating Disorders. Dr. Carroll is a graduate of the University of South Florida; she received her master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling in 1984, and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education in 1993. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Addictions Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission into the Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling Graduate Certificate Program students must have completed or be in the process of completing a master’s degree in the field of counseling or a related discipline leading to the coursework necessary to prepare them for a clinical Practicum experience. Students must apply before completing their first course in the certificate program.
To apply, a student must:

  1. Complete the Graduate Certificate Application (non-USF students must include a $30 application fee).
  2. Complete a 250 word personal statement.
  3. Resume
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. Transcripts from master's program

Contact

For more information on the Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling, please contact:

Theo Carroll, Ph.D., LMHC, CRC
Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate Director
Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling
University of South Florida
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MHC 1632
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: (941) 223-4551
Fax: (813) 974-8080
Email: theocarroll@usf.edu

Applications are available on the Graduate Certificate Web Page: Graduate Certificate in Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling (XAS)