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Addictions & Community Services Worker

Program Duration: 52 weeks

Are you looking for a career that allows you to make a difference in someone’s life? Are you an empathetic person with an ability to reach out to people who need it? You should consider a career in addictions work.

Addictions workers play important roles in the lives of those living with substance abuse, mental health issues, and other challenges. As such, these paraprofessionals need to rely on a wide-range of skills and knowledge. The Addictions and Community Services Worker program at CDI College is designed to prepare graduates for positions that assist clients facing substance abuse issues.

Students in the Addictions and Community Services Worker program gain a fundamental understanding of psychology, pharmacology, ethics, and communications. They also learn about the fundamentals of addiction and its impact on high risk populations, youth, and families. In addition, students will learn about case file management, treatment planning, and various community resources available to clients with addiction and mental health issues in Ontario.

Prior to graduation, students put their knowledge and skills to the test in a mandatory community placement. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in a range of social service settings in the province. The program is approved by the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF).

Program Courses

PCGO - Psychology

This subject provides the student with a basic knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts that can be applied in the subjects that follow.

CFMO - Case File Management & Report Writing

This subject deals with preparing social work-related written reports to communicate the progress of a client. The student will be introduced to various methods of recording information, along with the requirements for various entries to a file within the parameters of legal and ethical requirements. Basic computer skills are further developed through a series of assignments.

ITPO - Introduction to Intake Procedures & Treatment Planning

This subject will enable the student to become aware of the various testing procedures and the methods by which an appropriate and accurate assessment can be made. Subjects covered include laboratory testing, psychometric assessment, interviews, services, analysis of life situations, differential diagnosis and the matching hypothesis.

CMFO - Communications Fundamentals

This subject provides a comprehensive study of effective communication skills and techniques the student will useboth professionally and personally. The subject will sharpen skills to work effectively in a professional helping relationship. Students will also learn how to conduct an effective job search and how to continue their development as an addictions worker.

ECR4 - Ethics
This subject is designed to provide the student with a framework in which to view helping functions and related skills in a systematic manner. The subject concentrates on the helper’s task of becoming a more aware and effective person. The emphasis is on empowering others to help themselves through the development of communication and coping skills. Topics include reasons for students seeking a career in the helping profession; practical strategies for ensuring quality experiences in fieldwork and supervision stages of the helping process; common problems at work in regards to resistance, transference, counter transference and difficult clients; ethical awareness and learning for helpers; value and belief systems of helpers; one’s role in the community as a helper; stress and burnout; and more.
GFCO - Group Facilitation Concepts

This subject will provide the student with an overview of the nature of group work in a social service setting and an opportunity to explore relevant techniques and exercises designed to enhance group work: The role of techniques; Getting groups established; Techniques for the initial stage; Techniques for the transition stage; Techniques for the working stage; Techniques for the final stage.

CRNO - Community Resources & Networking

The goal of an addictions worker is to accurately assess the client’s needs and provide the most appropriate referral in an ethical manner. This subject establishes a framework to assess needs and explores the various services available in the community. This is accomplished by guiding the student through a series of assignments to enhance evaluation skills and knowledge.

IVWO - Interviewing Techniques
This subject will assist the student to define communication skills and demonstrate how to use them effectively in many types of situations. A group of core communication skills is essential to any interview, whether it takes place in counselling, nursing, social work, personnel work, or information gathering.
FOAO - Fundamentals of Addiction
This subject provides the foundation for further in-depth subjects in the study of addiction. The basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals are presented with an emphasis on challenging the myths of which chemicals cost society the most in terms of economic costs and social burden of human suffering. Specific target populations are explored, focusing on women, children, adolescents, ethnic minorities, elderly, the disabled, and those suffering from mental illness. Assessment, intervention strategies, and treatment options are presented along with the most common problems encountered during treatment.
PRMO - Fundamentals of Pharmacology

This subject provides basic drug information including the basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals. Students will build knowledge relating drug treatments/usage to various body systems and associated states of disease.

PRVO - Preventive Health Promotion
The student is introduced to various health and relationship concerns that are relevant in chemically dependent individuals. The student will learn to evaluate the effectiveness of program delivery and begin to create new ideas for promoting healthier lifestyle choices within a range of settings and diverse populations.
RPIO - Relapse Prevention & Intervention
This subject will provide the student with an understanding of relapse as a natural part of the recovery process. The student will study a range of strategies and techniques to assist in minimizing and preventing the effects of prolonged periods of relapse during the journey of recovery. Students are guided through the entire relapse process by considering the application of some basic principles introduced in the Center for Applied Behavioural Research (CENAPS) Model of Treatment.
SCTO - Secondary Traumatic Stress

Secondary traumatic stress results from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person. Students will gain insight into their personal strengths and weaknesses and will explore methods to prevent/reduce secondary traumatic stress.

ISWO - Introduction to Software Applications
This subject educates the student about the software applications that are commonly used in document preparation, report writing, and presentations. The student will learn how to use a computer’s operating system; perform basic file management tasks; use a Web browser to explore the Internet and perform searches for information; create, edit, and format documents; and prepare a slide show presentation.
WFMO - Working with Families
This subject will provide students with an overview of how addiction can impact the family unit. Understanding the family reaction is critical to providing caring support to the recovering addict and their loved ones. A recovery program that does not address issues of co-dependency may increase the likelihood of persistent patterns of relapse for both the addict and their family.
HRPO - High Risk Populations

Understanding about high risk populations provides the foundation for further in-depth examination of the relationship between substance abuse and a specific population in society. The purpose of this course is to gain a realistic perspective of drug-related problems affecting different sub-populations in society. To understand the complex issues surrounding drugs in our society, we need to recognize the enormous diversity that exists within the general population. This course will provide the student with the basic knowledge around being a multicultural counsellor and working specifically with sub-populations that are regularly encountered.

YOU4 - Youth Issues
This course is designed to give students an overview of the issues that our youth are facing in today’s society. The course looks at three general areas of concern related to youth issues. The first part of the course is aimed at describing what is meant by at-risk and who these at-risk youth are. This is essential in order to better understand what the common risk factors that contribute to youth becoming at risk are. Secondly, the student will learn about the different at-risk categories in order to explore the various issues and problems. Finally, the course will look at the different intervention, prevention, and treatment strategies or models.
SSW113O - Community Services Worker Certificates
In this module, students earn the three external certificates bundled into their program: Level 1 First Aid/CPR, Level 1 ASIST Suicide Intervention & Prevention, Level 1 Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NCI). Instruction will be provided by certified trainers in these specialties. Typically, the trainers will be College staff, but external trainers may also be used when that is expedient.
SSSO - Student Success Strategies

The purpose of this course is to optimize learning through equipping students with effective study techniques. This course also provides an introduction to personality styles that will be encountered in the workplace and allows students to practise appropriate and productive interaction between the various styles. Emphasis is placed on the types of communication that work best with each style in order to achieve a good working relationship and to manage and resolve conflicts that arise. Students are also introduced to strategies for setting personal goals, managing time, and managing the stress that results from study or work and builds on positive group dynamics and setting expectations for student success

PSKO - Professional Skills
This course is designed to equip students with interpersonal skills identified by employers as essential for success in the professional world. Using a variety of instructional methods including case studies, group exercises, and discussion, students learn and practice key communication skills.
CESO - Career and Employment Strategies

In addition to learning career-oriented skills, students learn how to get a job in their chosen profession. Our Employment Services department will assist the graduate in resume writing, as well as preparing for job interviews. Our staff is sensitive to current job market trends and the needs of employers in each local market. Our graduates receive guidance and training to use career tools that help job seekers build a better resume and cover letter, manage an online portfolio, hone interviewing skills, and develop a personal brand online. Students will have the use of a computer lab which has unlimited Internet access, as well as job search resources. Facilitators will also be made available to advise on job finding resources, interview skills and techniques and to carry out mock interviews. This course also looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview: How people find jobs; Employer expectations; Presenting an enthusiastic attitude; Focusing on the right job and the hidden job market; Transferrable skills; Thank you letters; Effective telemarketing; Handling objections, self-confidence, and self-esteem; Individual counselling and coaching.

PRAC300 - Mandatory Community Placement
This program includes 300 hours of a full-time community placement.

Start Training to Become an Addictions Worker!

Get the hands-on, job-ready training you need to work in addictions at CDI College. 

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