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Substance Abuse Certificate Program

Western Carolina University offers four 15-week courses (or 9 week during the summer) that meet the substance abuse specific coursework requirements for licensure with the NCSAPPB. The courses are taught one evening a week over a 10-15 week schedule at both the Asheville and Cullowhee campus' on a rotating basis. Students are expected to first complete SOCW 520: Addictions before taking the other three courses. For students who are not currently enrolled at WCU, the fee for each course is $450. (NO COLLEGE CREDIT GIVEN).

This program is approved by the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. Each course is approved for 45 hours of Substance Abuse Specific Education. The approval number is 12-141-C.


Addictions  (SOCW 520-70)...........$450

This course is an overview of complex issues related to addictions, including drug, alcohol, gambling, and eating addictions. It examines addiction within the context of developmental life stages and culture while incorporating the diagnostic criteria as identified in the DSM 5. 

Location: Online
When: Spring Semester |  WCU | Starting June 10  |  Tuesdays  5pm - 9pm

Science of Addiction (SOCW 525-80) ........$450 

This course explores the biological basis of addiction as well as the physiological and psychological effects of substance abuse on the brain and body. Pre-requisite: Addictions.
Location: Asheville and Cullowhee
When: Spring Semester | Biltmore Park |  Starting June 10  |  Tuesdays 6:05pm - 8:55pm

Methods of Substance Abuse Treatment (SOCW 522).............$450 

This course teaches knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in a variety of clinical settings specific to substance abuse. It further explores the diagnostic criteria as identified in the DSM 5 as well as exploring assessment, screening and various treatment approaches. 
 Pre-requisite: Addictions 

Location: Asheville and Cullowhee
When: FALL

Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Practice (SOCW 524)...........$450

This course provides an overview of unique problems and needs related to substance abuse treatment among diverse populations. It also explores the application of culturally sensitive intervention strategies. This course is a hybrid and therefore only meets face to face 4 – 5 times during the course of the summer.
 Pre-requisite: Addictions 

Location: Online

Who Should Take These Courses?

Information for practitioners non-credit

For more information on this program, please contact:
Beth Young, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CSI

Assistant Professor
Substance Use Studies Certificate Program Coordinator

Department of Social Work
College of Health and Human Sciences - Room 318

Western Carolina University
Office Phone: 828.227.3842 / Fax: 828.227.7708

For additional information about North Carolina licensure and certification in Substance Abuse:
North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Certification Board

Questions about registration for these courses should be directed to Bobby Hensley in the Office of Continuing Education at 828-227-7397 or

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