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Addictions and Recovery Minor

Addictions and Recovery Minor

The multi-disciplinary minor in Addictions and Recovery promotes translation of knowledge to a range of applied settings. Students select one of 4 tracks to guide their selection of courses to complete the minor. The minor allows for concentrated focus on one very complex condition that continues to pose new challenges to society, despite advanced knowledge from multiple research disciplines. The minor in Addictions and Recovery will provide important knowledge and skills to students majoring in a range of disciplines. With so many individuals, families, schools, communities, and workplaces impacted by addiction, an educated population to address the needs of those in recovery is warranted. Completion of the minor provides general knowledge about the phenomenon of addiction, as well as the best methods to support people in recovery from addiction. Students in the minor will be prepared to work in a range of settings supporting those in recovery. Successful, long-term recovery is challenging, but achievable, and best accomplished with supports from loved ones, employers, community members, professionals as well as allies and advocates. The minor provides opportunities for students to seek out research and applied experiences which can enhance their applications to graduate programs. The minor also provides a pathway to certification as a drug and alcohol counselor in PA for those who successfully complete their bachelor's degree in a behavioral science major, and who successfully complete the courses recommended for this career path.

You Might Like This Program If:

  • You enjoy working closely with people
  • You are interested in the human body and mind.
  • You hope to obtain certifications related to drug and alcohol counseling and/or peer recovery support
  • You are interested in engaging in research opportunities focused on addiction and recovery.
  • You enjoy learning about laws and policies related to drugs and alcohol.
  • You are interested in education models and prevention methods focused on addiction.

Many professionals in education, health, criminal justice, and human service settings will interact with individuals and their family members to prevent, intervene, and support short and long-term recovery efforts. The minor is designed to enhance the education of a range of professionals who will likely interact with individuals and groups in need of recovery support. The minor offers courses across multiple disciplines as a way to view this phenomenon from various perspectives. The coursework covers content related to the biology, psychology, and environmental factors relevant to addictions and recovery. The minor will also enhance graduate study preparation for many students interested in pursuing research or working with people in applied settings.

Requirements for The Minor (18 credits, 6 credits of 400 level prescribed courses)

Requirements for the minor include 18 credits of courses, and at least 6 of these credits must be at the 400 level and must be unique from the Prescribed Courses required by the student's major program(s). A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor. Required courses: BBH 143. The remaining courses should be selected from the list of supporting courses based on student career and academic goals related to one of the tracks outlined below.

Supporting Courses:

BBH 301 Values and Ethics in BBH Research and Practice

BBH 451 Pharmacological Influences on Health

C&I 333 Education and the Student in Recovery

C&I 409 Certified Recovery Specialist/Certified Recovery Family Specialist

CNED 422 Foundations of Addictions Counseling

CRIM 415 Drug Control Policy in Comparative Perspectives

CRIM 424 Drugs, Crime, and Society

CRIM 451 Race, Crime, and Justice

CRIMJ 469: Drugs and Drug Policy in the US

EDTHP 420 Education and Public Policy

HDFS 301 Values and Ethics in HHD Professions

HDFS 311 Individual and Family Interventions

HDFS 411 The Helping Relationship

HIED 302 The Role of the Resident Assistant Theory and Practice

HLHED 443 Alcohol and Drug Education

HPA 301 Health Services and Policy Issues

KINES 445 Drugs and Health Education

NURS 407 Drugs of Abuse and Mental Health

NURS 462 Psychotropic Drugs Children/Adolescents

RHS 300 Introduction to Rehabilitation and Human Services

RHS 301 Introduction to Counseling as a Profession

RHS 302 Client Assessment in Rehabilitation and Human Services

RHS 303 Group Work in Rehabilitation Practice and Human Service

RHS 400 Case Management and Communication Skills

RHS 401 Community Mental Health Practices and Services

RHS 402 Children and Families in Rehabilitation Settings and Human Service

RHS 403 Medical Aspects of Disability

RHS 433 Trauma Informed Care for School and Health Professionals

RHS 428 Rehabilitation in Corrections Settings

SOC 468 Mood Altering Substances in Society

Track 1: Students wishing to pursue careers in direct service and who want to be eligible to work as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in the state of PA are advised to take the courses that align with the Pennsylvania Certification Board's CADC learning domains (see below), which prepare students for the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) Examination, and entry-level work in direct service positions. Requirements for the CADC include 300 hours of education relevant to the field of drug/alcohol counselor, with 100 hours specific to drugs/alcohol, including 6 hours devoted to ethical and professional responsibilities. Three credit hours (one class) equates to 45 hours of education for the PA CADC. Six courses equate to 270 hours. A student majoring in a behavioral science field will likely accrue the needed 300 hours of relevant education, with 3 classes specific to alcohol/drugs and recovery as part of the minor.

In addition to the required education hours, requirements for the CADC include a) completion of a bachelor's degree in behavioral science or related field from an accredited university; b) 4000 hours of acceptable employment post-graduation in a position of drug/alcohol counselor; c) 200 hours of supervised work in a clinical, administrative, or evaluative nature.

Students wishing to pursue this path are encouraged to carefully review the criteria for certification eligibility at the following website:

CNED 422 Foundations of Addictions Counseling covers content from all learning domains, therefore students wishing to pursue the certificate are advised to take CNED 422 and select at least one class listed under each learning domain to fulfill the requirements of the minor and prepare students to pass the IC&RC exam, and work in entry-level positions. More than one class may be needed.

Domain 1: Screening, Assessment, and Engagement

RHS 302, HDFS 311, HDFS 411

Domain 2: Treatment Planning, Collaboration, and Referral

RHS 400, HDFS 311, RHS 401, RHS 433, RHS 403

Domain 3: Counseling

RHS 301, RHS 303, RHS 400, RHS 401, RHS 402

Domain 4: Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

BBH 301, HDFS 301, RHS 300, RHS 301, RHS 302

Track 2: Students wishing to pursue careers related to biobehavioral health or who wish to pursue graduate study focused on health prevention and research are encouraged to select from among the following as they relate to their academic and career goals: BBH 301, BBH 451, NURS 407, NURS 462, RHS 433, SOC 468, and/or a research-based independent study approved by the minor coordinator.

Track 3: Students wishing to pursue careers or graduate study related to drug policy and/or criminology are encouraged to select courses among the following: CRMJ 469, CRIM 424, CRIM 415, CRIM 451, RHS 428, SOC 468, HPA 301, EDTHP 420, and/or an independent study with a suitable faculty advisor as approved by the coordinator.

Track 4: Students wishing to pursue a career in drug and health education in schools or public health offices, or graduate study in related fields, are encouraged to select among the following: C&I 333, C&I 409, EDTHP 420, HIED 302, HLHED 443, KINES 445; RHS 433, RHS 402, or an independent study with a suitable faculty advisor as approved by the coordinator.

Students can opt to complete an independent study that will provide structure and opportunity to apply knowledge gained from the minor to the Penn State and the broader community or to sharpen research skills. If approved by the minor coordinator, this course can be used in lieu of a three or four-credit course from the previous list of courses. Experiences gained from the independent study are intended for students wishing to pursue graduate study in either research or applied settings, and/or a career related to addiction and recovery, and have identified a topic for which they wish to gain advanced learning related to research or experiential learning. Students wishing to complete an independent study course should propose an outline of their intended plan, including a faculty supervisor, to the minor coordinator. A minimum of 9 completed credits for the minor is required for consideration of the independent study course. The independent study course should be devoted to research, education/prevention, or applied/experiential learning.