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Addiction Studies Concentration

  • Credits:

Concentration Description

The undergraduate concentration in Addiction Studies is for counselors, case managers, residence managers, and advocates. This concentration considers the impact of substance abuse on individuals, families and communities. It explores theories regarding addiction, various treatment approaches, and the societal consequences.

A Key Element in Your Bachelor’s Degree. The Addiction Studies concentration is accepted in any Cambridge College bachelor’s degree, as open electives. It is often of interest to students doing a bachelor’s degree in human services or psychology. It also provides valuable understandings to students in other fields who encounter people suffering from addictions.

Program Outcomes

  • Fundamental understanding of the historical development and methodologies of addiction studies

  • Understanding and basic knowledge of major theories, concepts and processes relating to the study and treatment of addiction

  • Understanding the various treatment approaches in addiction

  • Understand a variety of societal consequences of addiction

Careers and Further Study

Addiction Studies concentrators are well prepared to enter a variety of career pathways working with people. These include clinical, educational, human service and management settings, and research. Graduates work in a myriad of institutions, private programs and agencies.


Prerequisite Courses

May be taken concurrently with Concentration courses.

Formative Ideas in Psychology
PSY 120 3 credit(s)
The CLEP exam in Introductory Psychology is accepted as equivalent. The field of psychology is introduced and the historical development of psychology as an academic discipline and as a professional career are surveyed. The major fields of psychology are explored and applied to understanding human beings as individuals, and as members of groups, and communities. The major methods of psychological research are introduced, including data collection and analysis.
Theories of Personality
PSY 325 3 credit(s)
This course is an introduction to the study of personality and examines a broad range of theoretical explanations for understanding personality development. Students will learn both historical and contemporary approaches to understanding personality including: psychoanalytic, humanistic-existential, social-cognitive, behavioral, biological and feminist perspectives and will also examine the impact of culture on personality development. The course will examine similarities and differences between various theories through case studies and students will be encouraged to explore the relevance of the material to their professional and personal understanding.
Concentration Courses
Introduction to Addictions: Theory and Practice
BHS 401 3 credit(s)
This course presents concepts and practices related to a broad spectrum of addictions and addictive behaviors, including theoretical models of addiction, terminology, review of substances and their effects, treatment strategies and programs. The impact of culture and ethnicity on substance use and abuse is addressed. Important current issues are discussed, such as difficulties in combining mental health and substance abuse perspectives. Students learn first-hand about a variety of treatment programs through guest speakers. Attendance at at least one addictions support group is strongly encouraged (AA, NA etc.).
Family Systems and Addictions
BHS 411 3 credit(s)
This course provides an overview of family systems, family therapy, and the history of efforts to deal with substance abuse/alcoholism in recent decades. Topics covered include theoretical models of working with families, terminology, the impact of various family members’ substance use, agencies, the process of recovery, and treatment programs. We identify methods of working with families affected by substance abuse, considering social, cultural, and environmental factors. Students learn to work systemically with parents, spouses, and children. They learn what constitutes comprehensive family treatment and the resources that are available to families, including but not limited to Al-Anon. Current research is reviewed.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
BHS 421 3 credit(s)
This course explores mental health issues and multiple problems that may be common among a substance-abusing population, such as depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, personality disorders, HIV/Aids, and homelessness. Students begin to understand major symptoms and terminology. We discuss advantages and disadvantages of as­sessment and diagnosis, and issues specific to gender and culture. The course develops a heightened awareness of mental health issues and a broad understanding of co-occurring disorders, enabling students to address client needs more holistically with a focus on their strengths.
Ethical Issues in Substance Abuse
BHS 360 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: BHS401 or experience in the field of addictions (permission from the instructor). This course explores current ethical issues common among a substance abusing population, such as mandatory treatment, involuntary treatment, duty to warn requirements, criminalization, and perinatal addiction. The course also covers professionals’ competence, confidentiality, accountability, client welfare, emotional health/personal wellness, and financial concerns. Students begin to understand the ethical debates and the foundations the arguments are based on. This course uses as a foundational code of ethics the Principles of Professional Standards for Substance Abuse Professionals. Students gain increased awareness of the ethical issues in the field and a broader understanding of the debates; they can address client needs more holistically and engage in public discourse on the issues.
Women and Addictions
BHS 302 3 credit(s)
This course explores addictions that women have struggled with historically and some now common to women. We discuss the relevance of gender-specific treatment for women, the “real life” complexities of women’s lives, the barriers that keep them from receiving the treatment they need, and the most common co-occurring disorders faced by women who experience addiction problems. The impact of the media is also considered. Students examine various theories in relation to treatment of substance-abusing women. A systemic approach is taken to the complex circumstances of these women’s lives.
Adolescent Drug Prevention
BHS 361 3 credit(s)
This course is designed to provide a wide range of practical and theoretical information about the adolescent drug prevention programs. Student will learn about the adolescent substances of choice, extent of their drug use and abuse, and types of school-based and community-based interventions. Multicultural considerations in the development and assessment of prevention programs will also be examined. It is recommended that Introduction to Addictions be taken prior to taking this course.