Substance Use Disorders & Recovery

Format: On-campus, Intensive Weekend

Training in the Mandel School’s substance use disorders and recovery specialization will provide you with knowledge and skills to be a leader in substance use prevention as well as treatment of substance use disorders. The curriculum reflects the complexity of biological, psychological and social factors related to the development, maintenance and recovery of substance use disorders. Equipped with this education, you will be prepared to to tackle one of the country’s most expensive and expansive issues—the crisis of alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription opioid abuse that the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates costs the nation more than $520 billion related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.

In this program, you will receive training to diagnose and treat problematic substance use and substance dependence using a range of theoretical causal models, empirically-supported treatment interventions, social policies and service delivery systems. You’ll learn to embrace the range of treatment options—including Twelve-Step Programs as well as medication-assisted therapies. Additionally, you’ll be exposed to substantive content on alcohol and drug use and its impact on individuals, families and the community at large. Though advanced elective coursework allows, you will explore the interaction of mental health issues and substance abuse as well as the impact of substance use disorders in aging, health and child welfare populations.  

Licensure Track

Within this specialization, you have options to pursue education leading to the independent social work license (LISW) and to follow an accredited curriculum that meets the educational requirements for Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Licensure, which allows you to pursue an additional, specialized licensure after graduation. Learn more about chemical dependency counselor requirements from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.

Related Opportunities

Sample Courses

  • Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Policy and Service Delivery
  • Integrative Seminar in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Treatment
  • Social Work Intervention in Co-occurring Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Social Work Practice in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

Examples of Field Education Sites

Careers in Substance Use Disorders & Recovery

  • Addiction counselor
  • Community mental health social worker
  • Crisis intervention specialist
  • Family advocate
  • Substance abuse services director
headshot of Kathleen J. Farkas

"Our school was one of the first to have a specialization in alcohol and drug abuse treatment and our faculty are experts in both clinical practice and research experience in substance use disorders and recovery. The Mandel School enjoys the benefits of long-term partnerships with leading community agencies, which strengthen our ability to provide students with high-quality, practical experiences among a range of populations.”

—Kathleen J. Farkas, PhD, LISW-s, chair, substance use disorders & recovery specialization