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Substance Abuse Studies Certificate Program



Virtual Open House

Wednesday, September 9th 5-7pm

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today

Substance misuse 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 (LCAS) credential administered by the NC Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of individuals working in the field of addictive disorder practice and increase the number of qualified addictions specialists in Western North Carolina.  A stipend of up to $10,000 may be available to eligible students

For additional information about North Carolina Addictions Specialist Licensure and Certificate Requirements:


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 looking to seek licensure as a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS-A) and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CDAC). The program meets 180-hours of substance abuse educational requirements as identified by the NC Addictions Specialist 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 addictive disorder practice at a later date.

Courses contain content on the 12 core functions/ 8 Domains of addictive disorder counseling, ethics, and HIV/AIDs and other communicable diseases. Students seeking to complete the SASCP must complete their specialization year field placement in an addictive disorder treatment setting under the supervision of a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) of Certified Clinical Supervisor 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 (Anticipated name change to Methods of Addictive Diorder Treatment - Fall 2021) - 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 (Anticipated name change to Cultural Humility in Addictive Disorder Treatment- Fall 2021) - 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

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

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

Start your SASCP journey today!

For More Information Contact:

Professor Beth Young, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS
Assistant Professor/ SASCP Coordinator/ OWEP Grant Project Coordinator
Department of Social Work
HHS 318
Phone: 828.227.3842

Request more info!

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