College of DuPage offers addictions classes to employees at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health to help expand skillsets
This fall, College of DuPage Human Services faculty began teaching two, 16-week addiction classes to employees at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, thanks to a newly formed partnership aimed to help employees earn their Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) certification.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the substance abuse counseling field is expected to grow 22 percent in the next 10 years.
Despite the anticipated job growth, Jason Florin, COD Human Services Associate Professor, said he sees a desperate need for addiction training in human service professionals across all disciplines.
"A common theme I heard when talking to local nurses, psychologists, social workers and counselors was that the addiction issues their clients were bringing to them were beyond their scope of training," he said. "I saw a big gap in skill sets, and COD's Human Services program has so much to offer, so why not bring our addiction classes to those who could benefit the most?"
With DuPage County growing, and substance abuse issues at crisis levels in America, Aaron Weiner, Director of Addiction Services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, was grateful COD could help employees better serve their clients who seek treatment at the psychiatric hospital.
"When we floated the idea for a partnership with College of DuPage to teach addiction treatment courses, it was amazing to see how many staff members reached out to express their interest in attending," he said. "The skills and tools my colleagues are going to learn will be invaluable to them in their careers, and I'm excited to see the overall level of addiction literacy increase across the Linden Oaks system of care as a result of this collaboration."
Classes are offered twice a week on the Linden Oaks campus and are taught by Florin and COD Human Services adjunct professor Donna Rennard. Florin teaches "Introduction to Addictions" and Rennard teaches Addictions Counseling I.
"When the students obtain their CADC certification, they can begin to expand their workload to include working more closely with addiction cases," Florin said. "They will be better equipped to work with some of the issues they are seeing now that arise throughout various disciplines in the hospital."
Additional classes will be offered on the Linden Oaks campus in spring, including Psychopharmacology and Addictions Counseling II.
The Human Services program at College of DuPage is dedicated to providing quality instruction and in-depth clinical training for individuals interested in serving and assisting people in the areas of addictions, applied gerontology, corrections, developmental disabilities, domestic/family violence, psychiatric rehabilitation and residential child care.
The program includes two Associates in Applied Science degrees: the Human Services Generalist and Addictions Counseling, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree through the 3+1 program in partnership with National Louis University. The program also offers the following certificates: applied gerontology, corrections counseling, developmental disabilities, domestic/family violence, fund development, psychiatric rehabilitation, residential child care and veterans counseling.
To learn more, visit www.cod.edu/humanservices.