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Training Needs for Substance Abuse Treatment and Assessment Among Rehabilitation Counselors: California State Projects

NCJ Number
Journal of Teaching in the Addictions Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Dated: 2008 Pages: 109-122
Lee Za Ong; Dal-Yob Lee; Grace Cha; Charles Arokiasamy
Date Published
14 pages
This study investigated the training and current practice of rehabilitation counselors with respect to substance abuse treatment and assessment.
Results found that rehabilitation counselors who participated in this study reported that approximately 90 percent of their consumers had alcohol or other drug abuse (AODA) issues; about 60 percent of individuals had co-occurring AODA issues. The comorbidity of disability and AODA issues of consumers highlights the complex diagnostic and treatment challenges that rehabilitation counselors face. Of particular importance was that rehabilitation counselors reported that they lacked adequate AODA training in their graduate program coursework, and believed that this training should be a required component of the curriculum. These findings support research that very little training is provided in graduate school and that rehabilitation professionals feel unprepared to deal with substance abuse disorders or co-occurring issues. Findings suggest that rehabilitation counselors be prepared and have the competency to work with clients with AODA-related issues in their practice settings; a separate course in graduate school that covers theory, etiology, detection, assessment, and treatment of AODA should be a required course in the rehabilitation counseling curriculum. Data were collected from 100 rehabilitation practitioners recruited through the District Administrators of California Department of Rehabilitation. Tables and references