Addictions Counsellor

Tuition and Fees

Program Title: Addictions Counsellor
Credential Earned: Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Delivery: Full Time
Program Length: 2 Semesters
Program Status: See individual program codes.

Program Codes
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.
A193-PC Timmins Campus
A222-KL Kirkland Lake Campus
A225-CK Contact North Kirkland Lake


Program Description
The Addictions Counsellor program offers those students or professionals who have a background/ diploma in Community Services, Social or Health Sciences, an opportunity to gain specialized knowledge and skills in the area of Addictions Counselling. This program provides the learner with innovative and rigorous addiction specific content. Opportunities for hands-on practical experience will be made available during the Addiction Treatment Approaches Practice Lab and the Fieldwork Placement component of the program.

Career Opportunities
Upon graduation, students may work in a range of service agencies, health care facilities, residential programs or penal institutions.

Contact Information
communityservices@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements
This program is an Ontario graduate certificate program which necessitates that students must have completed a prior post-secondary program in Social Sciences, Health Sciences or Community Services. Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (word processing, spreadsheets), web search engines and e-mail systems.

Or equivalent

Students may assess whether or not they meet the computer proficiency expectations for this program by taking the free online assessment at Computer Self Assessment Tool.

Mature students (applicants who do not have a secondary school diploma or equivalent and have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program) must undergo English language comprehension and grammar testing prior to admission into a program and demonstrate through a prior learning assessment process (PLA) equivalency with the admission requirements. Call the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 for more details.

Other Requirements for Admission to Field Work Placement may include:

  • Physician’s medical report as per guide supplied by the College
  • Proof of current immunization*, including Hepatitis B; 2-step Mantoux (with follow-up chest x-ray if the Mantoux test is positive)
  • Current Basic Cardiac Life Support Certificate (C.P.R. –Level B or C)
  • Standard First Aid Certificate (or equivalent)
  • WHMIS Certificate (may be obtained at a minimal cost through the College)
  • A recent criminal/vulnerable sector reference with vulnerable sector check (within 3 months) is required prior to the start of Fieldwork Placement in Semester II.

Important Information

  • Students who do not comply with the immunization requirements may not be allowed into the field work settings and as such may not be able to complete the placements required for graduation from the program.
  • CPR re-certification, criminal reference checks and immunization updates are required annually. Students will not be allowed on placement if documentation is not completed.
  • To be eligible for participation in field work practice, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which that person has not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record is likely to result in an inability to participate in fieldwork practice courses and will prevent the student from graduating.
  • Any costs for these tests/certifications will be the responsibility of the student.

It is important to note that this program requires a field work component. While the intent is for placements to be arranged in the student’s own community, when this is not possible, placement sites will be determined by the coordinator. Students are responsible for the costs of travel to and from field work placement sites. A dress code is in effect during all lab practice sessions and during the field work component of the programs. All theory and lab course work must be successfully completed prior to field work placements. A passing grade of 60% is required for all Community Services core courses and electives. To succeed in this program, students must be highly motivated, highly committed and physically and mentally fit.

Semester 1
AA1083 Introduction to Research
CM1703 Essay and Report Writing
DA1043 Theoretical Perspectives on Addiction Treatment
DA1053 Issues and Tools in Substance Use, Screening, Assessment and Case Management
SW3003 Group Processes
SW3023 Interviewing Skills I

Semester 2
AA2041 Community Service Learning
DA1023 Concurrent Disorders
DA2001 FWP for Addictions Counsellor Program
DA2011 Addictions Seminar
DA2033 Treatment Approaches in Addiction
DA2043 Addiction Treatment with Diverse Populations
DA2063 Addiction Treatment Approaches Practice lab
SW2033 Crisis Intervention

Semester 1

AA1083 Introduction to Research
Community service workers engage in the research process on an ongoing basis throughout their careers. This engagement includes evaluation of programs and specific interventions, determining which programs to choose to implement and staying current about changes in their field. Consequently, an understanding of the research process is an integral skill for successful community service workers. This course will introduce students to the field of human services research in order that they become consumers and producers of research in their practice. Students will gain skills that will allow them to be reflective about the work they do with their clients and to be lifelong learners.

CM1703 Essay and Report Writing
This course will introduce the student to the fundamentals of essay and report writing. Attention will be paid to researching pertinent information, critical thinking and organization of content and form. Students will be introduced to APA format and will be required to utilize APA in all course work submissions for this program.

DA1043 Theoretical Perspectives on Addiction Treatment
This course will enable students to explore various treatment models and theories in greater depth and promote the ability to link theory with practice. Social learning theory, cognitive behavioural theory, solution focused theory as well as the Minnesota model will be discussed. Students will also be introduced to the relapse prevention model, the trans-theoretical approach, family systems theory and emerging perspectives such as Buddhism and Mindfulness meditation.

DA1053 Issues and Tools in Substance Use, Screening, Assessment and Case Management
This course focuses on screening, assessment and case management with an overview of the addictions/treatment system. Areas of focus are addiction assessment tools and strategies with emphasis on client/treatment matching and stepped care, withdrawal management, confidentiality/new privacy legislation, and documentation. Students will be introduced to an overview of the Ontario Addiction Treatment system.

SW3003 Group Processes
This course provides the theory of group processes and structures as they develop and change throughout a group’s existence. Students will understand the basic issues in group work, the phases in the evolution of a group (pregroup, initial, transitional, working, and ending stage as well as follow-up) and group process applications to specific types of therapeutic groups. Students will be introduced to guidelines for multicultural practices and ethical and professional issues as well as group leadership roles and responsibilities. This course seeks to combine both didactic and experiential learning experiences. “There is a pressing and moral need to redress the health, economic, and social inequities experienced by the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people of Canada. Education is integral to the future of Canada’s Aboriginal people.” (Cultural Competency in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nursing Education 2009).

SW3023 Interviewing Skills I
This course intends to provide the student with a foundation of knowledge, values and skills necessary to conduct an effective helping interview. Theoretical and experiential learning will be combined.

Semester 2

AA2041 Community Service Learning
Volunteer hours in the Community Services programs are designed to help students develop a sense of community identity. As professionals in training, it is vitally important that students have an awareness of community strengths and needs. These volunteer hours will provide students with the opportunity to positively engage with community while having fun.

DA1023 Concurrent Disorders
Concurrent mental health and substance use disorders likely have always coexisted for many people, however, the combination of the two have only been gaining more attention in the last number of years. There is an increasing recognition that in many people’s lives the two cannot be separated. Historically, a person living with a concurrent disorder who would look for help to deal with either disorder would be shifted from one treatment setting to another. If someone with depression presented at a community addiction treatment agency looking for help with alcoholism he or she would have been asked to see mental health counsellors at the community mental health agency. Once there the client would be asked to get help for the alcohol problem before coming back to the mental health agency. In the end, the person is left feeling undervalued and hopeless. More recently, there is recognition of the need for integrated treatment. When someone with a concurrent disorder presents for help, agency personnel must be prepared to work with that person, or at least be able to access the appropriate care for that person. This course will provide the students with information about concurrent disorders in relation to recognition and treatment. Students will gain skill in relation to asking the right questions in order to screen and conduct basic assessments for concurrent disorders. They will be able to continue working with that person while directing them to appropriate services. It’s important to have information about services available for those living with a concurrent disorder. One of the biggest barriers to accessing treatment for someone living with a concurrent disorder is the stigma associated with the disorders. We will examine this stigma and look at the ways that it turns into discrimination. We will also have the opportunity to self-examine, to allow students become aware of the stigma they carry and how they can continue to assist people in a positive and helpful way.

DA2001 FWP for Addictions Counsellor Program
Students, while on fieldwork placement, will have a variety of experiences in agency settings, such as detoxification settings, mental health agencies, custody centers, health care settings, government and municipal services, counseling services, or in or out-patient services. They will work to solidify and practice a variety of critical skills, professional relationship building, interventions, counseling approaches, self-evaluation, self-care, and professional development. The specifics of these learning goals can be found in the fieldwork placement manual.

DA2011 Addictions Seminar
Students will take part in Fieldwork Seminars twice throughout the field work placement. The content of the fieldwork seminar will include presentations of work-related experiences, done in the context of skills applications and professional practices.

DA2033 Treatment Approaches in Addiction
This course will build on prior content from Issues and Tools in Substance Use Screening and Assessment and Case Management, and will cover a continuum of treatment approaches, enriching understanding of how a stepped care model of treatment could be applied in a community practice context.

DA2043 Addiction Treatment with Diverse Populations
This course addresses the unique treatment needs and issues encountered in working across differences, and enables the students to recognize that many people experience intersecting diversities and resultant marginalization/oppression.

DA2063 Addiction Treatment Approaches Practice lab
The Addiction Treatment Approaches Practice lab allows students to reinforce their theoretical knowledge and skills taught in the classroom through simulated interviewing and counselling sessions, to develop an entry level competency in preparation for the field work placement.

SW2033 Crisis Intervention
This course is designed to provide students in the human services field with fundamental crisis theory that will serve as a basis for assessment, intervention and evaluating resolution of a crisis event. A six-step model of intervention is presented along with specific helping objectives in order to guide the student in the practice of crisis intervention. Recognizing that suicide risk often accompanies a crisis, students will learn to recognize suicide lethality, and acquire specific techniques involved in interrupting a suicide attempt. Ultimately, the intention of this course is to prepare the student to help turn the clients’ crisis (danger) into an opportunity for personal growth and development.

Download the complete Articulation Agreement list for Universities and Colleges (PDF, 113KB).
You can also visit OnTransfer. This site provides information and resources to help students and potential students find their way through Ontario’s postsecondary system.

Articulation Agreements – Universities

Program Degree at Receiving University
Child and Youth Worker Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Social Work
or Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
or Bachelor of Arts (Community Development)
Carleton (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Multiple Majors)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology and Justice
Child and Youth Worker Athabasca (Alberta)
Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services)
Educational Support
Child and Youth Worker Guelph (Ontario)
Developmental Service Worker Bachelor of Applied Science in Family and Community Social Services
Social Service Worker
Developmental Service Worker Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Social Work
or Bachelor of Arts (Community Development)
Developmental Service Worker Athabasca (Alberta)
Social Service Worker Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services)
or Bachelor of General Studies (Arts and Science)
Developmental Service Worker Ryerson (Ontario)
Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts (Disabilities Studies)
Social Service Worker Bachelor of Arts (Early Childhood Education)
Bachelor of Social Work
Early Childhood Education Brock (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Honours)
Guelph (Ontario)
Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood
IOTI (Ireland)
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education or Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Honours)
Nipissing (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Ryerson (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Disability Studies
Windsor (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Multiple Majors
Laurentian (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Folklore et ethnologie
Police Foundations Athabasca (Alberta)
Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services) or Bachelor of Professional Arts (Criminal Justice) or Bachelor of Professional Arts (Governance, Law & Management)
Brock (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Carleton (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Multiple Majors)
Fredericton (New Brunswick)
Bachelor of Criminal Justice (online)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Guelph (Ontario)
Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science in Justice Studies from the University of Guelph and Community and Justice Services Diploma from Humber.
Husson, (Maine, USA)
Bachelor of Criminal Justice (Online)
IOTI (Ireland)
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies (Honours)
Laurentian (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice
Nipissing (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (Honours)
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology and Justice
Social Service Worker Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Social Work or Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) or Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) or Bachelor of Arts (Community Development)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Human Services, Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
IOTI (Ireland)
Bachelor of Applied Social Studies (Honours)
Lakehead (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Gerontology), Bachelor of Social Work (Native Human Services)
Brock (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) or (Women Studies)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Human Services, Bachelor of Social Work
Windsor (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts Honours (Disability Studies)
Note 1: The information above is subject to change without notice at the institution’s discretion.
Note 2: Ryerson University may ask applicants to complete two or three university level liberal studies courses prior to admission.

Articulation Agreements – Colleges

Program Credential from Receiving College
Child and Youth Worker Humber (Ontario)
Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
Early Childhood Education George Brown (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts
Seneca (Ontario)
Bachelor of Child Development
Sheridan (Ontario)
Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership
Police Foundations Conestoga (Ontario)
Social Service Worker Bachelor of Community and Criminal Justice
Police Foundations Georgian (Ontario)
Bachelor of Human Services
Humber (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts – Criminal Justice
Developmental Services Worker Utica College (New York)
Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts/Science Degree
Educational Support
General Arts & Sciences
Child and Youth Worker
Police Foundations
Social Service Worker
Note 1: The information above is subject to change without notice at the institution’s discretion.