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Curriculum

The UF College of Medicine’s online graduate addiction certificate is a perfect fit for social workers, counselors, physicians, nurses and others with a bachelor’s degree or higher, who desire the specialized skills necessary to pursue positions (including substance use and substance abuse counselor) within the addiction treatment field. For those who would like to prepare for certification exams — such as Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) or Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) exams ― the program covers the competencies needed and allows students to gain real-world experience through optional clinical experience hours.

Students in the program will train with national and international addiction experts. The teachers and mentors in the program have conducted groundbreaking scientific research in the field. Others evaluate and treat physicians, athletes, students and other patients on a daily basis at our world-class treatment facilities.

The UF College of Medicine online graduate addiction certificate comprises six 3-credit required courses, for a total of 18 credit hours. Students can (but are not required to) complete the program in a year at a pace of two courses per semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer terms available).

Optional Clinical Experience Opportunity

Students who plan to go on to pursue substance use or substance abuse counselor certification will have the chance to connect with addiction practices to gain clinical experience. As much as possible, we will help facilitate connections between students and practitioners located near them. Students and practitioners will then communicate directly with each other to decide the details of their specific clinical experience, and any associated payments. To be eligible for this opportunity, students must be enrolled in the certificate and must have completed all the courses. Contact an Academic Coordinator at (888) 213-8466 for more information.

Program Outcomes

By successfully completing the certificate program, graduates will be able to, among other things:

  • Apply proven, research-based methods for substance use prevention, diagnosis, screening, assessment, treatment and outcome evaluation
  • Select appropriate counseling methods and resources for families, couples and significant others
  • Develop effective inpatient and outpatient treatment plans and monitor progress toward recovery
  • Devise methods and processes for individual and group counseling
  • Describe neurological processes affected by substance use, and the mechanisms by which various drugs modify normal processes in the brain
  • Discuss how factors such as age, gender and ethnicity are linked to susceptibility to and effects of substance use
  • Tailor treatment based on factors such as stage of recovery, personal and cultural identity and treatment settings
  • Explain, interpret and utilize assessment results in making treatment recommendations
  • Outline models and theories of addiction, treatment and recovery
  • Establish effective counselor-client relationships
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of self-referral vs. counselor-referral and assess referral outcomes
  • Adhere to patient privacy and confidentiality laws, regulations, and ethics standards
  • Engage and maintain relationships with community, governmental and other addiction-related resources
  • Explore options for financing of treatment
  • Cultivate personal, professional and cultural self-awareness as an addiction recovery clinician
  • Operate as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team
  • Relate U.S. and global trends in substance use

Required Courses

GMS 6780 Addiction: Neuroscience and Trends (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course presents findings from leading-edge neuroscience research on how different drugs act on the brain, and how differences in age, gender, and other factors influence those effects. The course introduces different types of drugs, and describes global trends in substance use disorders and addiction.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain how neurological processes are affected by substance use
  • Describe the mechanisms by which various drugs modify normal processes in the brain
  • Relate U.S. and global trends of substance use disorders
  • Outline how factors such as age, gender, and ethnicity are linked to susceptibility to substance use disorders and the effects of substance use.
  • Identify proven methods for prevention and treatment of substance use disorders

GMS 6781 Foundations in Addiction and Substance Use Disorders (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course covers cross-disciplinary areas underlying the work of addiction professionals: understanding addiction, treatment knowledge, application to practice and professional readiness. It presents models and theories of addiction, treatment, and recovery: research-based diagnosis, treatment, and outcome-measurement methods, sociocultural and other factors that influence substance use and treatment, and practice setting differences.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe models and theories of addiction
  • Describe models of treatment and recovery
  • Describe research-based diagnostic and treatment criteria and measurement of treatment outcomes
  • Tailor treatment based on factors such as stage of recovery, personal and cultural identity and treatment settings
  • Cultivate personal, professional and cultural self-awareness

GMS 6782 Addiction: Clinical Evaluation and Treatment Planning (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course covers screening and assessment of people thought to have addiction or who are being considered for treatment – along with how to interpret and use resulting data. It explores individualized treatment planning that accounts for drug type, mental health, and other medical conditions, and family, employment, social and legal concerns.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Apply different types of standardized screening and assessment tools
  • Explain, interpret and utilize assessment results in making treatment recommendations
  • Craft effective inpatient and outpatient treatment plans
  • Monitor progress toward recovery
  • Adhere to patient privacy and confidentiality laws, regulations and community standards

GMS 6783 Addiction: Counseling and Treatment Methods (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course looks in-depth at collaboration between counselor and client in establishing treatment and recovery goals, promoting beneficial behaviors and discouraging harmful behaviors that put clients at risk for infectious diseases and other issues. It covers individual and group counseling, and counseling for families, couples and significant others.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Establish an effective counselor-client relationship
  • Reinforce helpful behaviors and discourage harmful behaviors using various strategies
  • Apply different types of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Devise methods and processes for individual and group counseling
  • Select appropriate counseling methods and available resources for families, couples and significant others

GMS 6784 Addiction: Referral and Service Coordination (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course teaches counselors how to work as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team and carry out administrative, clinical, and evaluative activities that help clients gain access to a range of services and resources. The focus includes case management, client advocacy and coordination of treatment.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Engage and maintain relationships with community, governmental and other referral resources
  • Arrange referrals
  • Operate as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team and coordinate treatment activities
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of self-referral vs. counselor-referral
  • Assess referral outcomes

GMS 6785 Addiction: Professional and Ethical Responsibilities (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course covers counselor adherence to ethical and behavioral standards, and professional development. It details accountability standards through proper documentation procedures from patient screening through to discharge. The course also covers engagement in public awareness efforts and partnerships that give clients, families, and communities important information about addiction, prevention, and treatment.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Adhere to laws, regulations and professional codes of ethics
  • Maintain accurate records of treatment outcome and appropriately handling family- and employer-reporting of outcomes
  • Attend to the counselor’s own mental and physical well-being
  • Identify factors that contribute to risk for and resilience to drug abuse
  • Engage community, media and other partners to promote substance use prevention efforts

Electives

Students may take one or both of these electives during summer semesters.

GMS 6873 Introduction to Medical Bioethics (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course intensively reviews the impact of bioethics in medical practice and research. It delves into topics such as stem cell research, reproductive rights, privacy laws, humans as research subjects, cultural and religious considerations in medical decision-making, and the role of government vs. the rights of individuals.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Construct thoughtful opinion papers on current issues in medical bioethics
  • Critically evaluate the positions of all parties involved in the medical decision-making process
  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and respectfulness toward various opinions of medical bioethics
  • Communicate effectively with patients and health care providers regarding bioethical issues in the workplace

GMS 6874 Introduction to Medicine and The Law (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course provides students with insight into some of the many interactions between the medical and legal professions. This course will be helpful for those pursuing a career in health or law. Online lectures are presented by practicing attorneys and physicians. Directed readings give students the opportunity to explore the fields. This course focuses on the United States.

Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain the origins of drug and alcohol laws
  • Analyze cases that demonstrate the effects of the law on the practice of medicine
  • Discuss the impact and legacy of medicine and the law
  • Debate controversial medical and legal issues such as the “right to die.”
  • Investigate the role of mental health and other medical defenses in legal cases

Request Information

To learn more about the University of Florida’s online Graduate Certificate in Addiction and Recovery and download a free brochure, fill out the fields below. You can also call (888) 213-8466 to speak to one of our Academic Coordinators about the certificate program.

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