The Advanced AODA is a Program of Study. You must be accepted first to SSA and then by the Program of Study. SSA students apply to Programs of Study during their first year.
SSA is an Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA) Accredited Advanced AODA Counselor Training Program (ATP). The program is open only to second-year SSA master’s students in the clinical concentration. Students who complete the AODA ATP receive the education and supervised practice allowing them to take the Illinois Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) exam after graduation.
The AODA ATP Program of Study is designed to equip students with the tools necessary to provide services to clients who abuse alcohol and other drugs. The training program addresses treatment approaches in addiction and non-addiction settings. Further, AODA ATP students learn how to treat substance abuse in specific populations such as individuals with dual disorders, older adults, women, and adolescents.
The coursework for the AODA ATP fits into the larger clinical concentration framework. The program emphasizes theories of substance abuse and social work. Students take clinical intervention courses focusing on the substance abuse aspects of social work direct practice. Other key courses address psychotherapy for the chronically distressed and substance abuse in children.
The curriculum provides a knowledge base and training foundation that assists students to understand clients whose emotional and behavioral problems are complicated by their substance use. The curriculum’s emphasis on client-centered interventions such as Motivational Interviewing, and its orientation around gradual, non-shaming approaches to substance abuse assessment and treatment, is an invaluable set of tools for a student who wishes to pursue a career in social work.
Students in the AODA ATP have field placement opportunities in:
- outpatient and inpatient substance abuse,
- youth addiction,
- hospital-based chemical dependency,
- veterans administration, and
- criminal justice settings and prevention programs.
- Programs serving people who are homeless or who have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems.
Students who complete the program primarily build careers in direct practice settings and some lead in training and supervisory positions. Others conduct research in government or non-profit settings. Some examples of practice settings include: Addictions treatment and prevention; Senior service centers and integrated primary care and behavioral health settings; Service to veterans and military; Youth, criminal and juvenile justice; Homeless populations; Co-occurring disorders; Mental health; and Employee assistance programs.
Stanley McCracken, PhD