Substance Abuse Studies

Western Carolina University offers professional development courses for social workers and counselors.

If you do not see the course you are interested in taking, please email us at

Substance Abuse Courses:

Western Carolina University offers four 15-week courses (or 9 week during the summer) that meet the substance abuse specific coursework requirements for licensure with the NCSAPPB. The courses are taught one afternoon/evening a week over a 10-15 week schedule at either the Asheville or Cullowhee campus on a rotating basis. Students are expected to first complete Addictions or SOCW 420/520 before taking the other three courses. For students who are not currently enrolled at WCU, the fee for each course is $450. (NO COLLEGE CREDIT GIVEN).

This program is approved by the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. Each course is approved for 3 hours of Substance Abuse Specific Education. The approval number is 12-141-C.


Addictions……….. $450

This course is an overview of complex issues related to addictions, including drug, alcohol, gambling, and eating addictions. It examines addiction within the context of developmental life stages and culture while incorporating the diagnostic criteria as identified in the DSM 5.

Location: Taught on the Cullowhee Campus 

When: Fall and Spring Semesters

Methods of Substance Abuse Treatment………….$450

This course teaches knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in a variety of clinical settings specific to substance abuse. It further explores the diagnostic criteria as identified in the DSM 5 as well as exploring assessment, screening and various treatment approaches. 

Pre-requisite: Addictions 

Location: Taught at Biltmore Park Site in Asheville 

When: Fall Semester

Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Practice…………$450

This course provides an overview of unique problems and needs related to substance abuse treatment among diverse populations. It also explores the application of culturally sensitive intervention strategies. 

Pre-requisite: Addictions 

Location: Taught on the Biltmore Park or Cullowhee Campus
When: Summer Semester

Science of Addiction……..$450 

This course explores the biological basis of addiction as well as the physiological and psychological effects of substance abuse on the brain and body. 

Pre-requisite: Addictions 

Location: Taught on the Cullowhee Campus 

When: Spring Semester

Who Should Take These Courses?

Current WCU students seeking the certificate should click here to pay the $25 administration fee online.

For more information on this program, please contact:

Beth Young, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CSI

Assistant Professor
Substance Use Studies Certificate Program Coordinator

Department of Social Work
College of Health and Human Sciences - Room 318

Western Carolina University
Office Phone: 828.227.3842 / Fax: 828.227.7708

For additional information about North Carolina licensure and certification in Substance Abuse:
North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Certification Board

Questions about registration for these courses should be directed to Bobby Hensley in the Office of Continuing Education at 828-227-7397 or

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