Current Course Offerings in Chemical Dependence

SW 360 K
Principles of Recovery and Relapse Prevention

Course Description:

Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process that involves the physical, psychological, social, intellectual, spiritual and cultural aspects of an individual. Principles of Recovery and Relapse Prevention is designed to address that diverse issues that are related to each of these concepts. Emphasis in the course will be given to developing and demonstrating knowledge, skills, values and self-awareness that will help empower each student's understanding of the recovery process. Major themes of the course include the passages of recovery, relapse prevention principles, relapse warning signs, the 12-step approach to recovery and general wellness concepts. Using a holistic perspective, students will gain insight into recovery principles through exercise, proper nutrition and techniques to help deal with the everyday stressors of life.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Discuss and compare the various models and theories of addiction and relate that information to their personal life.
  • Have a thorough understanding of personal attitudes toward addiction.
  • List and discuss the principles of relapse prevention.
  • Identify relapse warning signs.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various stages of recovery.
  • Evaluate personal environmental, physiological and psychological obstacles in recovery.
  • Discuss and apply various methods to help overcome obstacles that hinder recovery.
  • Discuss and demonstrate the positive correlation between exercise, nutrition, stress reduction and the recovery process.
  • Discuss the importance of spirituality in recovery.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus (PDF).



SW 360K/SW 393U9
Dynamics of Chemical Dependence

Course Description:

This course examines the incidence and etiology of chemical dependence on individuals, families and society. The course also addresses pharmacological properties and physiological, psychosocial and cultural aspects of psychoactive substances and assessment and classification of substance use disorders and special characteristics of diverse population groups. The course is organized using a biopsychosocial framework.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the incidence of chemical dependence and its impact on individuals, families and communities.
  • Compare and critically evaluate major models and theories of chemical dependence including the impact of social and ecological factors on development, maintenance, and treatment of substance abuse and dependence.
  • Discuss the pharmacological properties and physiological effects of drugs and alcohol.
  • Demonstrate and understanding of assessment and classification of psychoactive substance dependence and abuse and the concept of multiple diagnoses.
  • Identify and describe the effects of chemical dependence on families and communities with special attention to characteristics such as involvement with the criminal justice system, gender, age, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and ability.
  • Discuss and evaluate method s designed to motivate chemical dependent individuals and their families to use available treatment programs and community self-help resources.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus (PDF).



SW 393T5/SW 360K
Treatment of Chemical Dependence

Course Description:

The course is designed to provide a basic understanding of contemporary treatment methods used in work with clients recovering from alcohol and/or drug dependence. Emphasis will be placed on integrating the use of problem solving, Gestalt therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Psychotherapy, popular adjunctive techniques and medically supervised programs with Minnesota model of recovery, the Therapeutic community approach to treatment and Drug Court. Preliminary outcome data related to gender and racial/cultural specific treatment programs and treatment of chemical dependent clients with mental disorders will also be included.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • The student should be familiar with basic theoretical concepts and treatment techniques of selected contemporary counseling strategies, adjunctive methods and medically supervised programs for treatment of chemically dependent clients.
  • The student should be able to describe the concepts, procedures and preliminary outcome data related to three models for treatment of chemical dependence: the Minnesota model, the Therapeutic Community approach and Drug Court.
  • The student should be able to describe a broad range of methods for integration of the counseling methods covered in the course with the Minnesota model of recovery, the Therapeutic Community approach and the Drug Court model.
  • The students should be able to describe the treatment strategies, rationale and preliminary outcome data related to gender and racial/culture specific treatment programs.
  • The student should be familiar with the frequency, range, characteristics and treatment considerations for mental disorders commonly diagnosed in chemically dependent individuals.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus (PDF).



SW N393U10/SW N360K
Women and Addiction: Contemporary Issues

Course Description:

This course is designed to prepare social work students to work with women with chemical dependence problems, in and outside of treatment programs and the criminal justice system, from adolescence through adulthood. Particular emphasis is paid to the issues and problems women face associated with their addiction, their incarceration, recovery, and rehabilitation. Student will examine the criminal justice involvement continuum from arrest to arraignment and sentencing, through post release and the impact of system involvement on women at various ages, socioeconomic levels, and ethnicity/race. Students will explore contemporary issues faced by incarcerated women including drug addiction, criminal involvement, the children of these women, poverty, stigma, under-education, oppression, sexual abuse, low self-esteem, inadequate interpersonal skills, inadequate independent living skills and psychological problems.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the incidence and etiology of chemical dependency in women and recognize the gender differences and treatment approach differences pertinent to addiction and incarceration.
  • Identify cultural issues pertinent to chemically dependent and incarcerated women, and utilize an awareness of diversity in rehabilitation and treatment application.
  • Develop an understanding of the impact of chemical dependence of women on their children, on individuals, families and society.
  • Compare and contrast models of chemical dependency treatment criminal rehabilitation and various theories, including therapeutic communities, half-way houses, relapse prevention, 12-step and other self-help models.
  • Evaluate environmental, psychosocial, and physiological obstacles facing women in chemical dependency recovery and post release from criminal justice facilities and evaluate service delivery systems in relation to these obstacles.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus (PDF).



SW N360K/SW N393T6
Dual Diagnoses: Mental Illness & Chemical Dependence

Course Description:

Through the use of lectures, class discussions, videos, guest speakers and a field trip, students will examine how mental illness in combination with chemical dependency and/or substance abuse impacts individuals, families, and society. A holistic approach (biopsychosocial) will be used to identify, better understand, and address combinations of these illnesses. A wide continuum of persons will be welcome at this class, from those with an interest in mental illness and/or chemical dependency but no practical experience to those with a lot of experience and those who intend to eventually become (or already are) licensed professionals such as social workers, chemical dependency counselors, mental health counselors, psychologists, rehabilitation counselors, nurses, and pharmacists. The instructor's experience will enable the class to address dual diagnosis in depth.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the assessment and classification of substance use disorders such as chemical dependence and substance abuse and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, major depression and bipolar disorder.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the incidence of various dual diagnoses and their impact on individuals, families and communities.
  • Discuss pharmacological management of severe mental illnesses, appropriate and inappropriate uses of medications with persons who are dually diagnosed, and the dangers of mixing medications with alcohol and other drugs (licit and illicit).
  • Compare and critically evaluate existing theories, treatment models and dual diagnoses research.
  • Identify and describe the effects of dual diagnoses on individuals, families and communities with special attention to characteristics such as involvement with the mental health treatment system, the chemical dependency treatment system and the criminal justice system.
  • Describe and discuss Twelve-Step self-help meetings and Good Chemistry Groups.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus (PDF).



SW 392P2
Policy Analysis: Health, Mental Health, and Chemical Dependence

Course Description:

This course focuses on the process and analysis of social policy development, including identification, selection, implementation, and evaluation. The course will include advanced content on process, problems, and programs specific to the concentration areas in the MSSW program. By the end of the semester, students should be able to apply their knowledge of the social policy process to selected policy issues related to their area of concentration.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the process of social welfare policy development at state and federal levels.
  • Utilize alternative frameworks for analyzing the development of social welfare policy.
  • Utilize framework s for evaluating and analyzing the effects of social welfare policy.
  • Analyze contemporary issues in the development of social welfare policy.
  • Critically evaluate selected issues in areas such as health, mental health, substance abuse, disability, children and family, and/or income maintenance policy.
  • Apply the underlying causes of social problems to the design of social welfare policy with a special emphasis on the causes and consequences of poverty.
  • Assess how the structure of current social welfare policies affect men, women, people of various ages, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status and physical and mental abilities.
  • Develop a plan for influencing social welfare policy as a part of each social worker’s commitment to promote social and economic justice.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus (PDF).



SW 360K-395K
Clinical Supervision: Mental Health and Chemical Dependency

Course Description:

This course is designed for social workers, chemical dependency counselors, and other professionals who are licensed in their respective fields of clinical practice. This course will promote understanding of clinical supervision and its critical role in continuing professional growth. Students will develop knowledge and skills in balancing the complexities of supervisory roles, relationships, and process. Three major supervisory functions will be emphasized as important concepts in grappling with today's practice realities.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Appreciate the tradition and role of supervision in clinical practice and the heritage of an ecological, systems perspective.
  • Become familiar with basic models and related theories, which influence the nature of supervision.
  • Recognize the organizational and practice realities, which shape clinical supervision in mental health and chemical dependency.
  • Examine and be able to apply various techniques and relationship styles of supervision, with an appreciation for ethnic, gender, age, diversity.
  • Identify professional ethical and boundary issues in supervision.
  • Understand the concept of parallel process.
  • Understand how to apply the basic tools for supervision with an appreciation for the strengths and diversity of supervisees, administrators, and clients.

For a detailed course outline see the the course Web site.



SW 395K/360K
Treatment of Chemical Dependence with African Americans and Mexican Americans

Course Description:

The course will examine chemical dependence prevention and service delivery issues as well as prevalence, etiology, social justice and social policy issues with African American and Mexian American individuals, families and communities.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the incidence and prevalence of chemical dependence and impact upon family systems in regard to African Americans and Mexican Americans.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the unique "cultural" characteristics and contextual factors of chemical dependence with African Americans and Mexican Americans.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of "cultural competence", social justice and policy issues related to chemical dependence prevention and service delivery with African American and Mexican American individuals, families and communities.
  • Identify and evaluate ethical issues and values regarding prevention and service delivery with African American and Mexican American individuals, families and communities.
  • Identify and assess current research-based prevention and service delivery methods for chemically dependent African American and Mexican American individuals, families and communities.
  • Identify and evaluate important areas of innovative research that develop knowledge which in turn contributes to increased effective practice with African American and Mexican American individuals, families and communities.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus (PDF).



SW N360K/N395K
Adolescent Chemical Dependency: Prevention and Intervention

Course Description:

The course will examines the incidence and etiology of chemical dependence and its impact on adolescents, families, and society.

Course Objectives:

Upon Completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the incidence of adolescent chemical dependence and its impact on youth, families, and communities.
  • Compare and critically evaluate major models and theories of chemical dependence including the bio-psycho-social-spritual impact of ecological factors on development, incidence, maintanence, and treatment of substance abuse and dependence.
  • Discuss the physiological adn psychological effects of drugs and alcohol on youth, particularly considering developmental frameworks.
  • Grounded in social work values and the ethical decision-making process, as illuminated by the NASW Code of Ethics, identify, utilize, and understand the rationale behind empirically-supported prevention and intervention approaches.
  • Demonstrate and understanding of assessment and classification of adolescents psychoactive substance dependence and abuse and the concept of multiple diagnoses.
  • Identify and describe the effects of chemical dependence on families and communities with an understanding of the pursuit of social and economic justice including strategies to address discrimination, oppression, and economic deprivation for individuals and families with special attention to charactersictics including but not limited to involvement with the criminal justice system, gender, age, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and ability.
  • Discuss and evaluate methods designed to motivate chemically dependent adolescents and thier families to use available treatment programs and community self-help resources in order to help alleviate social problems related to adolescent chemical dependency and to promote client well being.

For a detailed course outline see the the course syllabus.




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Phone: (512) 471-9219

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