Cen­ten­nial launches new ‘ad­dic­tions work’ cer­tifi­cate


As re­search into ad­dic­tions con­tin­ues to ad­vance, new knowl­edge, tech­niques, skills and ter­mi­nol­ogy are ad­vanc­ing too. Cen­ten­nial Col­lege’s newly-re­vamped ‘ad­dic­tions work: pro­fes­sional prac­tice skills cer­tifi­cate’ re­flects those changes, bet­ter equip­ping pro­fes­sion­als to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of those they’re striv­ing to help.

“The re­ally ex­cit­ing piece around this pro­gram is that it of­fers the most cur­rent the­o­ries and prac­ti­cal skills that you can im­ple­ment wher­ever you are,” says pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor Denise Halsey. “It can bet­ter equip you to as­sist who­ever you work with, whichever plat­form you work at, what­ever your be­lief sys­tem is. It’s about knowl­edge.”

With more than 25 years of pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­dic­tions, men­tal health, marginal­ized com­mu­ni­ties, anger man­age­ment, cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion, clin­i­cal su­per­vi­sion, pro­gram de­vel­op­ment and preven­tion, Halsey was ex­cited to un­der­take the chal­lenge of de­vel­op­ing a new cur­ricu­lum for the cer­tifi­cate.

“Not long ago, ad­dic­tions and men­tal health were treated sep­a­rately… but we’ve learned that many peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems also have prob­lems with ad­dic­tion, of­ten be­cause they want to self-med­i­cate so they’re not as anx­ious or be­cause they want to feel dif­fer­ently,” Halsey says.

“Recog­ni­tion that men­tal health and ad­dic­tion are con­cur­rent al­lows us to cre­ate pro­grams to serve that com­mu­nity bet­ter.” Ter­mi­nol­ogy has also evolved. “We no longer use the term ‘ad­dict,’ for in­stance. In­stead, we use the term ‘ad­dic­tive be­hav­iour.’ It’s a more client­cen­tred or com­pas­sion-cen­tred model,” she says.

Cen­ten­nial’s pre­vi­ous cer­tifi­cate was com­prised of 10 cour­ses. The new cer­tifi­cate is com­prised of five “very rel­e­vant” cour­ses, all of which in­clude valu­able Cana­dian con­tent:

•With­drawal man­age­ment, over­dose preven­tion and harm re­duc­tion

• Psy­chophar­ma­col­ogy for ad­dic­tion treat­ment

• Trauma-in­formed and so­lu­tion-fo­cused coun­selling

• Ad­dic­tions case man­age­ment

• Sys­tems nav­i­ga­tion and se­lect pop­u­la­tion

The pro­gram is ideal for com­mu­nity ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als work­ing in the com­mu­nity ser­vices field or grad­u­ates of a com­mu­nity ser­vices diploma or de­gree – such as so­cial work, so­cial ser­vice work, child and youth care, and com­mu­nity and jus­tice ser­vices – who want to fur­ther de­velop their knowl­edge and skills in the field of ad­dic­tions.

Stu­dents will have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­en­tially learn about the field of ad­dic­tions through guest speak­ers and by par­tic­i­pat­ing in case stud­ies and field trips. Grad­u­ates will be el­i­gi­ble to work at front-line men­tal health and ad­dic­tion agen­cies, shel­ters, home­less drop-in cen­tres, hos­pi­tals and cri­sis ser­vice cen­tres.

Cen­ten­nial’s cour­ses are rec­og­nized by the Cana­dian Ad­dic­tion Coun­sel­lors Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Fed­er­a­tion for those in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a cer­ti­fied ad­dic­tions coun­sel­lor. There are lots of rea­sons why some­one would want to work in ad­dic­tions, in­clud­ing per­sonal and/or fa­mil­ial ex­pe­ri­ence.

“A huge por­tion want to give back,” says Halsey. “For some it’s part of their own heal­ing. Oth­ers have been ex­posed to it. I think there’s a new aware­ness of ad­dic­tions and peo­ple are re­al­iz­ing it’s ev­ery­where,” she says. “We’re gen­er­al­ists. We have lots of bits of knowl­edge or know where to find it so we can bet­ter serve, not do harm and hon­our the house we’re in, which is the agency, hos­pi­tal or fa­cil­ity we’re work­ing at.”

Visit cen­ten­ni­al­col­lege.cal­pro­grams-cour­ses/part-time to learn more


Toronto’s Cen­ten­nial Col­lege of­fers more than 250 diploma, cer­tifi­cate and de­gree pro­grams on a full- and part-time ba­sis in busi­ness, me­dia, arts, hos­pi­tal­ity, com­mu­nity ser­vices, en­gi­neer­ing tech­nol­ogy, health care and trans­porta­tion. Its pro­grams em­pha­size ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing with lab­o­ra­tory in­struc­tion, co-op ed­u­ca­tion and in­dus­try place­ments.


The fol­low­ing are ex­am­ples of Cen­ten­nial’s grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cates, most of which are de­liv­ered full time and in eight months. They’re in­tended for stu­dents want­ing to earn a quick cre­den­tial on top of their col­lege diploma or uni­ver­sity de­gree. Ad­vanced busi­ness man­age­ment — al­co­holic bev­er­ages.

Learn about cat­e­gory and sup­ply chain man­age­ment, ac­count­ing, mar­ket­ing, the global reg­u­la­tory frame­work and

cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. Arts and en­ter­tain­ment

jour­nal­ism. De­velop skills in re­port­ing, crit­i­cism, so­cial me­dia, imag­ing and multi-plat­form de­sign. Com­plete an in­dus­try field place­ment.

Cy­ber­se­cu­rity. Learn how to pro­tect com­put­ers, ap­pli­ca­tions and net­works from unau­tho­rized and ma­li­cious users or soft­ware.

Food tourism. Dis­cover the links be­tween tourism mar­ket­ing, de­vel­op­ment and ex­pe­ri­ences with gas­tron­omy, wine, cul­ture, food tra­di­tions and com­mu­ni­ties. Mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions de­vel­op­ment. Learn to de­velop mo­bile apps for Google An­droid and Ap­ple iOS de­vices.

Work­place and well­ness health pro­mo­tion. Learn to pro­mote the to­tal well­be­ing of in­di­vid­u­als and groups within cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity con­texts.

The fol­low­ing are among the part-time cer­tifi­cates Cen­ten­nial of­fers:

Autism and be­hav­ioral sci­ence. De­velop ad­vanced knowl­edge of autism spec­trum dis­or­der and aware­ness of ef­fec­tive in­ter­ven­tion tech­niques.

Busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion – lead­er­ship and man­age­ment. En­hance your abil­ity to man­age projects, find ef­fi­cien­cies, iden­tify the best hires and lever­age your fi­nan­cial know-how into strate­gic busi­ness de­ci­sions.

Ef­fec­tive pro­ject man­age­ment. Learn cur­rent pro­ject man­age­ment tech­niques to im­ple­ment projects of any size, ei­ther as a man­ager or a mem­ber of a pro­ject team.

Pro­fes­sional sales. Learn the fun­da­men­tal skills, knowl­edge and at­ti­tudes needed for suc­cess in an en­try-level sales po­si­tion. Re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties

man­age­ment. This pro­gram is of­fered in part­ner­ship with On­tario Re­tire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties As­so­ci­a­tion. An ORCA-ac­cred­ited home has com­pleted a full op­er­a­tional re­view of all provin­cial reg­u­la­tions and best op­er­a­tional prac­tices.

Auto ser­vice ad­vi­sor. Re­ceive train­ing in tech­ni­cal as­pects of the au­to­mo­bile, as well as com­mu­ni­ca­tion and man­age­rial skills. CISCO cer­ti­fied net­work­ing

as­so­ciate. Pre­pare to ob­tain the Cisco Cer­ti­fied Net­work As­so­ciate cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and re­ceive the ground­work for more ad­vanced stud­ies in net­work­ing. Com­mu­nity ser­vices

man­age­ment. Stu­dents with pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence or ed­u­ca­tion within com­mu­nity ser­vices de­velop such skills as pro­gram plan­ning, op­er­a­tions and re­source de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing fundrais­ing tech­niques and vol­un­teer man­age­ment.


PART-TIME CER­TIFI­CATESCen­ten­nial’s cour­ses are rec­og­nized by the Cana­dian Ad­dic­tion Coun­sel­lors Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Fed­er­a­tion for those in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a cer­ti­fied ad­dic­tions coun­sel­lor.

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