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Substance Abuse Studies Certificate Program



Substance use is a serious issue that causes problems for individuals, families, and communities nationwide. The toll can be seen in hospitals and emergency departments, and is linked not only to physical and mental health problems but also to family stress, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and crime. The Department of Social Work offers a Substance Abuse Studies Certificate program that meets the educational requirements for the Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCASA) credential administered by the NC Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of individuals working in the field of substance abuse practice and increase the number of qualified addictions specialists in Western North Carolina.

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


The Department of Social Work offers a 12-credit hour Substance Abuse Studies (Post Baccalaureate Certificate) for students who are enrolled in the MSW or Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs as well as practitioners or who are looking to seek licensure as a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS-A). The program meets the 180-hours of substance abuse educational requirements as identified by the NC Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. 

Courses in the Substance Abuse Studies Certificate Program are also open as elective courses to graduate students who are not in the certificate program providing there is room. Students who choose this option may apply these courses towards licensure or certification in substance abuse practice at a later date.


Courses contain content on the 12 core functions of substance abuse counseling,12 core competencies of substance abuse counseling, ethics, and HIV/AIDs and other communicable diseases. Students seeking to complete the SASCP must complete their concentration year field placement in a substance abuse treatment setting under the supervision of a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) of Certified Clinical Supersior Intern (CCS-I).


Courses are taught in the evening during the spring, summer and fall semesters.

SOCW 520 – Addictions - Overview of complex issues related to addictions, including drug, alcohol, gambling, and eating addictions; examines addiction within the context of developmental life stages and culture. This course is taught synchronously at the Biltmore Park and Cullowhee sites both Fall and Spring Semesters.

SOCW 522 - Methods of Substance Abuse Treatment - Methods course that teaches knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in a variety of clinical settings specific to substance abuse. This course is taught synchronously at the Biltmore Park and Cullowhee sites in the Fall Semester. PREQ SOCW 520.

SOCW 524 - Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Practice - Overview of unique problems and needs related to substance abuse treatment among diverse populations; application of culturally sensitive intervention strategies. This course is taught synchronously at the Biltmore Park and Cullowhee sites in the Summer Semester. PREQ SOCW 520

SOCW 525 - Science of Addiction - Biological basis of addiction; physiological and psychological effects of substance abuse. This course is taught synchronously at the Biltmore Park and Cullowhee sites. PREQ SOCW 520 

MSW students register for courses through their degree program.

Practitioners (non-students) register for courses through the School of Social Work's Continuing Education Program . Each class offers 45 contact hours of continuing education credit. Completion of coursework in the Substance Abuse Certificate Program does not waive other state board requirements for the LCAS or LCASA credential.

Students interested in the SASCP must first submit an application of interest and a $25.00 administration fee click here to pay the fee

Contact Information

Professor Beth Young, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS
Assistant Professor and SASCP Coordinator
Department of Social Work
HHS 318
Phone: (828) 227-3842

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