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Program Description

This program provides a specific focus on the knowledge, skills and techniques that are recognized as being fundamental to work in the addictions field. It is intended for those individuals wishing to further advance their knowledge in current developments in the field. Delivery is well suited to individuals currently employed or entering employment in an addictions related work environment. Graduates are granted a Certificate in Fundamentals of Addiction. 

This certificate serves as the academic component for the International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (ICADC) through the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (


Program Requirements

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
Expected Availability
CreditsFall Winter Summer
This course will focus on the specific drug families, their general features and the dynamics of the psychoactive drugs included in each classification. Attention will be given to commonly identified substances within each of the families (e.g. alcohol, heroin, marijuana) as well as the legal and illicit psychoactive drugs that have appeared in recent years.
Foundations in AddictionsBSCI-10912YesNo
Students will examine models and elements of addiction including the addiction spiral, terminology and theoretical approaches to explaining and understanding addiction. Age, gender, ethnicity, culture, and geography will be examined in relation to cycles and forms of addiction. The course will provide students with an introduction to the use of assessment tools, client communication, interviewing and treatment planning. The intent of this course is to provide students with introductory knowledge on the signs and symptoms of addiction, including the physical and psychological components as examined through the lens of various screening and assessment inventories.
Human DevelopmentBSCI-10922NoYes
This course is designed to provide the student with some of the practical knowledge necessary for a career in Human Services. Students will gain a greater understanding of human development across the life span by exploring the physical, cognitive and socio-emotional stages of development. As well, students will be provided with a foundation in the theoretical perspectives of Piaget, Skinner, Maslow, Keene, Erickson and Kolhberg.Students will explore the relationship between theories of human development and approaches to addiction treatment.
Counselling: Theory & PracticeBSCI-10962YesNo
The four units in this course will provide the students with an overview of the theory and skills related to the helping relationship process. The course will provide a theoretical framework for examining key concepts related to counselling activities and their application. The course will focus in the nature of the counselling relationship key issues and concerns, techniques for effective counselling interaction and skill building in the key ares of interpersonal communication. Attention will be given to counselling issues and concerns as they related to specific population issues. The course will also introduce basic record keeping within the context of the counselling relationship.
Family CounsellingBSCI-10942NoYes
In response to a family member's addiction and addictive behaviour, the dynamics within the family change. This course will focus on defining families, family systems, counselling theories, family dysfunction, and the affect of addiction on individual family members. Students will learn how to assess, counsel and support families living with addiction.
Group Counselling: Theory & PracticeBSCI-10952NoYes
This course will focus specifically on the role of group counselling within the addictions setting. Students will explore the dynamics of group counselling, including an understanding of the various types and functions of a group counselling. Students will have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate group counselling.
Treatment ApproachesBSCI-10933YesNo
The focus of this course is to provide students with information on current treatment approaches and practices. Students will examine a selected range of treatment models, including Harm Reduction, the Matrix Model, Brief Solution Focused and Cognitive Models, as well as those approaches currently in use within the province. Relapse and relapse prevention will also be examined as part of this unit. Attention will be given to specific techniques that are utilized within these models.
Effective Case ManagementBUSI-10743NoNo
In this course, students will learn the key administrative functions involved in effective case management practices, and will begin to apply practical knowledge and skills that can be used to facilitate positive outcomes with clients. Students will be introduced to issues pertaining to ethical practice, legal considerations, confidentiality, documentation and case conference. Screening and assessment tools will be introduced including the CAGE, MAST, DAST and AUDIT. Students will also learn various communication skills that are associated with improved outcomes, including motivational interviewing, reflective listening, asking appropriate questions, giving information, dealing with difficult issues, addressing and disarming anger.
Motivational Interviewing for AddictionsBSCI-12652NoYes
This course will introduce students to a philosophical approach that includes a unique counselling and communication style essential in helping clients change addiction related behavior. Motivational Interviewing in a counselling method that works to resolve ambivalent feelings and uncertainty to find the internal motivation that clients need to change behavior. Students will learn techniques to assist their clients to make positive and lasting changes.
Professional Ethics in AddictionsBUSI-11752NoNo
This course will provide students with an introduction to ethical considerations involved in addictions work as it relates to the profession, the role, and agency affiliations. The course will discuss the legal implications associated with ethical standards and professional conduct. The resource of the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF) will be surveyed as part of this course.
Concurrent DisordersBSCI-12503NoNo
This course covers concurrent disorders in mental health.

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 7 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

More Information

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Learning outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Explain the pharmacokinetics and associated factors of substances included in the psychoactive drug categories.
  2. Describe the fundamental theories and premises associated with approaches to explaining human development.
  3. Explain the signs, symptoms and neuroscience dimensions of substance use, dependency and addiction.
  4. Identify effective case management skills and techniques including ethical considerations, communication and record management.
  5. Explain the addiction spiral and the signs and stages of relapse.
  6. Explain addiction related concepts using industry specific terminology.
  7. Identify techniques and strategies associated with a best practices approach to case management.
  8. Identify addiction issues in relation to specific target populations.
  9. Demonstrate specific assessment, interview and counseling techniques.
  10. Explain models of client treatment, counseling and referral in terms of individual and family centered responses.
  11. Describe community services and networks in relation to treatment, wellness, referral, after care services and relapse prevention.

Program Details

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