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  Dec 18, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Governors State University Academic Catalog

Addictions Studies, M.H.S.


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The graduate major in Addictions Studies from the College of Health and Human Services  is designed to prepare individuals for leadership careers in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. The curriculum is based on the premise that addictions are multi-factorial, requiring a multi-solution academic approach. As professionals in the field, students need theoretical and empirical knowledge drawn from diverse behavioral, health, and social sciences. As substance abuse specialists, students will need a theoretical knowledge of etiology and epidemiology, education and community health approaches to prevention, clinical reasoning in treatment, and a background in the political, legal, and historical development of the field. As leaders in the substance abuse field, students will be familiar with planning, managing, and evaluation of both treatment and prevention services.

Students who have experience and academic training in the field of criminal justice and who wish to pursue certification as Criminal Justice Addictions Professionals should contact an advisor for information about this option.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the program are expected to:

  1. Identify the behavioral, psychological, physical, and social effect of psychoactive substances on the user and significant others.
  2. Recognize the social, political, economic, and cultural context within which substance use exists, including risk and resiliency factors that characterize individuals, groups, and living environments.
  3. Describe the interaction between substance use disorders and other medical and mental health conditions.
  4. Describe the philosophies, practices, policies, and outcomes of evidence-based models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuing care for substance use disorders and related problems.
  5. Recognize the importance of family, social networks, and community systems in the treatment and recovery process.
  6. Understand established screening and assessment criteria for substance use disorders, treatment modalities, and placement criteria within the continuum of care.
  7. Adapt helping strategies and treatment modalities to the client's stage of use, dependence, change, or recovery.
  8. Incorporate the relevant needs of culturally diverse groups and people with disabilities into clinical practice.
  9. Gather and organize data systematically from the client and other sources using a variety of methods that are sensitive to age, developmental level, culture, and gender that can be used for screening and assessment, treatment planning, referral, service coordination, provision of services, and consultation.
  10. Adhere to established professional codes of ethics, Federal and State laws, and agency regulations that define the professional context and standards of the counselor and safeguard the client.
  11. Recognize and utilize evidence-based practices in their professional activities.

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting university admission criteria, applicants must:

  1. have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 or higher for all undergraduate courses; and
  2. have completed the following course work or their equivalent: six hours of study in the behavioral sciences (three hours must be in an introductory psychology course and the additional three hours in psychology, sociology, social work, or anthropology); six hours of biological sciences or chemistry; and a statistics or research methods course.

Prerequisites: nine credit-hours of addiction-related course work, including three credits in multicultural perspective (may be completed after admission to the program).

Applicants must provide documentation of equivalent course work to the advisor.

Recommended Preparation

An undergraduate major in one of the following fields is recommended: behavioral sciences, social work, or allied health disciplines. An undergraduate minor in addictions studies is suggested.

Admission to Candidacy

After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student must also apply for candidacy. Application forms are available in the program office. Application for candidacy should be made at the beginning of the term in which the student expects to fulfill the candidacy requirements. Until degree candidacy status is attained, a student will not be permitted to enroll ADDS-8300 , or ADDS-8800 . To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must:

  1. maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher for all graduate courses attempted; and
  2. earn a grade of "B" or better in six of the following eight courses: ADDS-6100 , ADDS-6600 , ADDS-7200 , ADDS-7400 , ADDS-6900 , ADDS-6500 , ADDS-7500 , and ADDS-8200 .

More detailed candidacy information is available through the program office or the student's advisor.

Degree Requirements


Credit-hours earned in Addictions Studies, Professional Development courses cannot be applied toward degree requirements. Students must meet all university requirements for a master's degree.

Addictions Studies, Addictions Counseling Concentration, M.H.S.


The Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies-Addic­tions Counseling Concentration is designed to meet the increased professional expectations for addictions counselors as detailed in, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2009), Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes of Professional Practice.* The intent of the Addictions Counseling Concentration is to expand the profes­sional opportunities of addictions studies graduate majors and to provide the community with specialized addictions counselors who are educated to address the persistent prob­lems of addictions and related issues.

* Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2009).

Addictions Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes of Professional Practice. Technical

Assistance Publication (TAP) 21. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 08-4171. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Additional Program Outcomes

In addition to the program outcomes for the MHS in Addic­tions Studies specified above, graduates of the Addictions Counseling Concentration are expected to:

  1. Know the professional organizations, competencies, preparation standards and state credentials relevant to the practice of professional counseling.
  2. Understand the history, philosophy and trends in both addictions and other counseling.
  3. Differentiate substance use disorders from other psychopathologies.
  4. Apply the diagnostic process including differential diagnosis using current diagnostic tools such as the DSM.
  5. Identify developmental factors through the lifespan that influence behavioral health and addictions.
  6. Incorporate evidenced-based family interventions into clinical work.
  7. Apply career theories as related to lifestyle, education, decision-making, and development in both counseling and substance abuse treatment.
  8. Critically evaluate research relevant to the practice of addictions and other counseling.
  9. Evaluate various models of consultation and supervision of counselors.
  10. Incorporate the relevant needs of culturally diverse groups and people with disabilities into clinical practice.
  11. Gather and organize data systematically using a variety of screening and assessment methods that are sensitive to age, developmental level, cultural factors and gender that can be used for treatment planning, referral, service coordination, provision of services and consultation.
  12. Synthesize, integrate, and apply the major theories of counseling in the conceptualizat5ion of interventions to effectively prevent, treat, and manage addictions, mental health, and other quality of life factors. 

Special Admissions Requirements

You are eligible to apply for the MHS in Addictions Studies- Addictions Counseling Concentration if you meet the following criteria:

  1. Current student in the MHS in Addictions Studies Program.
  2. Have achieved candidacy.
  3. Have no grade of "C" or less in any core courses; and
  4. Have a G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher in all completed core courses.
  5. Complete the Application Packet for the Addictions Counseling Concentration.

Degree Requirements


Students must meet all university requirements for a master's degree. Students also must have met all requirements for candidacy status in the MHS in Addictions Studies Program.

Total - 60 Hours


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